The Real Gift: Presence Not Presents

In this beautiful holiday season, regardless of our faith and beliefs, one thing brings us together and that is love.

And while we all enjoy giving and receiving gifts, the festive wrapping and excitement of unwrapping, the real gift during this season is being present.

While it is not always possible to be with our families physically, especially given how mobile a global society we have become, we can use technology to make a phone call, send a text message, send photos of our celebrations wherever they may be, Skype or Facetime – to be with those we love in “real time.”

Sadly, there are many people, especially older people, who are in skilled nursing facilities, or “homes” as we rightfully call them, as these places are very often the last place so many will live in – people who have little or no family visiting them.

Every one of those individuals have lived lives, had relationships, have stories to share and songs still to be sung.

Nurses, CNAs, staff, and volunteers play an incredibly valuable role during the holiday season as human beings who are sometimes the only companions and who share their hearts with their “patients.”

Companions is a word very close to compassionate, and compassionate is a word that defines the great nurses in our culture here in the US, and around the world.

This holiday season, find some time to spend with somebody who may otherwise feel lonely this Christmas and New Years. You will be the beneficiary of their gifts, their stories, their presence. And they will be moved in ways you may not realize.

And this holiday season, find time to thank a nurse and other caregivers! Tis the season to be loving.

Finally, if you are a nurse or caregiver, giver yourself a gift – that is your own presence…time to rest…to relax…to reflect. Find time to recharge your spirit for the New Year ahead. Find time to light your own candle, and always remember: being present in your own moment allows you to be fully present for others who will forever be grateful for your healing.

With love and gratitude, and all warmest wishes of the season and a big wish for a peaceful and prosperous New Year!