Day 352: 12 days of christmas :: present and presents

19 Dec

I just returned home from yoga class.
It was a little present I gave to myself during the hectic holiday ramp up of buying, wrapping, locating, returning for the right size presents.

After all, we are only 6 days until Christmas.

As soon as yoga class began, the instructor asked us to “be mindful to what you will be present for tonight.”

Here we are in the holiday season and there was that word again… present.

present, the promise 365, jamie eslinger

It made me stop and reflect on presents and being present…. and being present for presents.

Ever since my mother died there has been a black cloud over Christmas in my heart. She was the Queen of Christmas. Specifically, she was the queen of the BOWS that went around the wrapping that held the presents.

Nobody was allowed to smash a bow. Just placing the gifts under the tree was a challenging game of Tetris.

“Don’t smash a bow!” Mama Sling would yell from the kitchen as I hovered over the tree as if she had eyes in the back of her head.

(And, just for the record, I believe Mama Sling DID have EYES in the BACK of her head.)

With Mama Sling so went Christmas.

Gone were her stockpiles of gifts hidden in the back of her closet, just in case someone showed up at the house as a last minute surprise. Gone was the gigantic pile of gifts under the tree all neatly wrapped with bows the size of Texas.

Ever since Mama Sling died I have had to learn to relate presents with Christmas in a whole new way. I learned to accept the new rules of the my father’s house, that only the grandchildren would be given gifts at Christmastime. I had to accept the fact that my husband, at the time, believed gifts were a waste of money.

I had to accept that my definition of a present was not the same as others. I believe Christmas should come with gifts straight from the heart, no matter the size. It’s just the thought that counts. I blame Mama Sling, it’s all her doing.

And, tonight as I took in a deep breaths during yoga, being present for every single stretch and painful move, I smiled at how far I’ve come.

Not just because my life now revolves around a family that adores Christmas. And not just because Justin, my partner, is the World’s Best Giver of Gifts.

It’s because after all this time, I finally know that just being present is the most wonderful present of all.

Being present for friends.
Being present for family.
Holding the presence of those who are no longer here in my heart.

That’s the magic of Christmas — the very precious present.
Well, that, and some seriously gigantic bows that are not to be crushed.

Love you Mama Sling.
Your presence is felt.


My Gift To You

the promise daily, the promise 365

The Promise Daily is a little inspiration and a kick in the pants! (In the most loving way.)

Because you have goals — and I want to help you stick to them. All you have to do is sign up here.

The Promise Daily officially starts on January 1st, but you can sign up now.

My gift to you!

4 Responses to “Day 352: 12 days of christmas :: present and presents”

  1. Diane Neal Emmons December 19, 2012 at 9:22 PM #

    Jamie, you are the Best present anyone could have in his or her life. Love, DN

    • Jamie December 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM #

      Right back at ya!

  2. MaryB December 20, 2012 at 6:46 AM #

    Wow! LOVE-PRESENTS-BEING PRESENT! Thanking for sharing this story. LOL, Mary

    • Jamie December 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM #

      Oh, thank you Mary!

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