It’s that time of year again. Black Friday has passed and hopefully we all survived. Carols don the airwaves. Tree lots miraculous sprouted, and even if you live in a sunny California, as I do, you get frosted trees—bringing at least the appearance of winter into your very own home.

The Holiday spirit is in full swing. Kitchens are rich with baked cookies, cakes, and pies. Offices are filled with merry parties and pleasant social chatter. We line up in the department stores to buy toys for our children. Generosity abound, we toss a few to be donated to the local charity into the mix as well. Then we pen some hefty sums onto charity checks. It is afterall that giving time of the year—one where we look out for our fellow man, one where we offer refuge, hope, and good cheer to those less fortunate, one where we not only count our blessings, we tend to share them abundantly.

But what about the rest of the year?

Once the packages are all opened and the tree untrimmed and our decorations placed gingerly into the box ne’er to be seen til next year rolls around, we often tend to return to our old patterns and ways of being. That Christmas spirit seems to fade as if a sunset—once glorious, but now transformed into the black of night.

So how can we keep the holiday spirit alive year-round? How can we make it not a seasonal event but an annual one? How can we become the embodiment of the famed Santa Claus—jolly, good-natured, and charitable— giving without expectations of a reward? And why wait for him to come to town, when we can do it ourselves on a daily basis?

Wait, you say. It is a struggle just to maintain that holiday spirit, well, during the holiday season and now you want me to be Santa 24/7/360? No way.  Or maybe you think you just don’t have the time. Or the skills. Or the resources. Or worse maybe you think you have nothing of value worth giving. Well, think again for we all have something of value to give. It’s the gift of oneself.

Presence is the best present one can give.  

Presence is living with integrity. Presence provided to our children, our neighbors, our employers, our employees, our community, our families and friends, to our passions, to ourselves makes all the difference. And we can make it a yearlong commitment. So when making your New Year’s Resolutions, why not place—maintaining the spirit of Xmas all year round by living in the state of presence always–at the top of your list? I know I intend to do just that. I hope you will do it too.


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