Christmas,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Generosity,  Holiday traditions

The gift of your attention

“Nothing you can give will ever be more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention—your full presence. Truly being with someone, and listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event, is the ultimate compliment.” ~Marc Chernoff, Marc & Angel Hack Life

This week, I’ve been preoccupied with last-minute holiday shopping. Should I bring a dessert or an appetizer to a Christmas Eve party? What about hostess gifts? Should I buy something else for our Christmas morning brunch? Did I forget to treat a friend? And do I have enough presents for my three-year-old grandson who also has a birthday this week?

Then I ran across today’s quote — and it stopped me in my tracks.

What do all of us really want to receive? How about the gift of “sincere, focused attention”? These days, when it seems most people would rather chatter about themselves, or are busy with their own concerns, what a gift it is to find yourself in the company of someone who has time to listen deeply to you. ~Cindy La Ferle

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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