Dear Parents and Guardians,
Many years ago, although I've since forgotten the source, I came into possession of a hardcover titled "The Precious Present" by Spencer Johnson. For years I would store it with my Christmas decorations and read it annually. I've given it as a gift several times. It's one of my favorite go-to gifts for young families.
The story is about a young boy who spent his life searching for The Precious Present. According to the old man who told the boy about the present, it was the very best gift of all, and to have such a gift would make one happy forever. The boy searched and searched. As he grew into a young man he was obsessed. His dreams were of how happy his life would be after he found it. He grew confused, then frustrated, then angry. Eventually, (Spoiler Alert!) only when he became an old man himself did he realize that the most precious gift IS the present. Not the past, not the future, but to be able to live for the moment, to appreciate one's daily life and the blessings one has is the best gift we can give ourselves.
For some reason, after last Christmas, I didn't pack it away. I've read it repeatedly this year and on some days it felt like a lifesaver. Even, or perhaps especially, in the midst of this year appreciating the little things has become necessary. While we look forward to leaving 2020 in our rearview mirror, we should be careful not to let go of the small things we've come to appreciate.
A walk through the neighborhood, seeing a smiling face (unmasked), the support of our community, the creativity and dedication of our teachers, time spent with family, hugs, and handshakes are all things we've taken for granted and have taken on new meanings in 2020.
No matter how you spend your Christmas, it is my wish that we all pay close attention, savor, enjoy and celebrate. May your moments all be precious!
Merry Christmas, and may the blessings of the Christ Child be with you into 2021.