As schools wind down for the long holiday break, we know you are winding up for the fun and exciting holiday events you surely have planned with family and friends. At School Literacy and Culture, we are also preparing for a week away from the hustle and bustle of work while at the same time readying ourselves for the hustle and bustle of time spent with loved ones. It’s a busy time of year, primed with joy and excitement and also a tinge of stress and rush to “get it all done.”
Our challenge to you this year, the same one we are extending to ourselves, is to give the gift of a slower pace and “presence” rather than “presents” this year to family, friends and neighbors. Replace the worry about purchasing the perfect gift for a loved one with the opportunity to spend time together, maybe baking cookies or playing a board game or participating in another beloved holiday tradition. Many years from now the little ones in your life will likely not remember the toys they received but rather the card games played with a grandparent, sledding with neighbor friends (or, in Houston, maybe playing catch in the front yard with a neighbor; no snow here!) and curling up for a good bedtime story with mom in front of a roaring fireplace. This exact moment in time will not come again, enjoy it. So put down your cellphones, close your laptop and practice being “present” where you are.
Thank you for a wonderful 2016. We hope this holiday season brings you and your loved ones great joy and peace and may you share the best gift of all, being “present” with those around you.
We’ll see you in 2017!
Authored by Jordan Khadam-Hir, Rice University School Literacy and Culture