Christmas,  Friendship and relationship advice,  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

At this point in December, I’m usually preoccupied with holiday stress and anxiety. As Christmas draws closer, I wake up with a chorus of elves reciting a mile-long “to-do” list in my head: When are you going to finish your Christmas cards? What will you bring to the Christmas Eve party? What else do you need for the Christmas morning brunch you’re hosting? Have you overlooked anyone on your gift list? What about presents for your little grandson — who also has a birthday in two weeks?

That’s when I try to calm down and remind myself of the wisdom in today’s quote.

What do we all appreciate — any time of the year? How about the gift of “sincere, focused attention” and presence? These days, when everyone is busy and overbooked, it truly is a gift to find yourself in the company of someone who has time to sit and listen deeply to you. ~CL

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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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