Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let us be present!

Christmas Presence
There's been a lot of discussion around the water cooler lately about Christmas presents.
Not the gift wrapped kind with a price tag and a return policy.
Rather the good 'ol fashioned time spent with loved ones: Christmas presence, as in , "You must be present to win!"
That's my holiday wish!
That's my new year's resolution.
That's my prayer- to be present for my loved ones. Not an easy task for many of us, as we work to balance the rigors of our jobs, our families, our homes and our community.
One day at a time- that's the deal, the trick bag.
Life unfolds one day at a time. Even though I can plan my New Year's resolutions, I can only live 24 hours at a time because life changes on a dime.
One day is not related to the next. One day, Dianne and Charley had a son named Josh, who grew up to be a soldier. One day, he was gone. The newspaper, in the most microscopic way strangers can, honored the memory of that son on the front page today.
Though our loved ones can't always be with us, we can keep them present by honoring their memory. We can call our Mothers more often. We can tell our children that we love them without fail. We can let our spouses know how much we appreciate them.We can smile at a stranger, or try , for just one 24 hour period, not to think of ourselves. Rather, think of someone less fortunate than. There's always someone less fortunate.
I can't shake the vision of the silver-flecked Humvee I saw the other day at the mall. The parking lot was jammed with people scurrying before dusk to finish (or begin) their holiday shopping. The luxury vehicle nearly tore the side off  a minivan decorated with evergreen swags and Christmas bulbs, the two cursing each other as they passed.
I felt rage and frustration. I longed to be anywhere but that crowded parking lot.
That's why I need Christmas presence-to remember the reason for the season.
Because I live in a place where military vehicles are driven for pleasure and automobiles are decorated in holiday garb, all in search for the perfect present. God help us.
I wish you a meaningful holiday and a wondrous new year, one day at a time.                                    
                                                                                                                       Janet Denk
A few years back, this was an article written in the newspaper of our small town.
I keep it with my Christmas decorations and read it every year.

The column was called Janet's Planet. Janet and her husband owned the paper and Janet is the Mom of one of Emily's best friends!
As much as I valued the newsworthy information and photos of home town events, I always made sure to read her column....usually while walking into the front door on my way in from the mailbox.
Last year, with the economy in the tank, sadly, the newspaper went down too.
I have missed Janet's Planet and have told her many times.

This summer, Janet found my blog. She was so encouraging to me....especially since she is a real writer...and I am just pretending to be a writer over here.
I told her that she should start a blog as a place to continue writing Janet's Planet.
She did....and she posted her first 'column' at the end of September.
Then she took a break.....a long break....until now.

I hope that you will join me in welcoming her to the blogosphere!
You will find her here!
You will be touched by her writing, encouraged and inspired too.
And as you know...if you comment...she'll keep writing. I really want her to keep writing. You'll see that you will too.

Thank you friends!
And remember
Let us be present this Christmas....Our presence is the best present, indeed!

Today is alphabe-Thursday!
The letter of the day is 'L'.
Head on over to Jenny Matlock's blog to read more!
 Jenny Matlock  


  1. I love this post and I headed over to Janets and enjoyed myself as well!!

    If you do make the frosting it is 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar not 1 Tablespoon:)

  2. This was so great. I think I might have to copy it down and save it in my Christmas to read every year! I popped over to Janet's blog and now I am a follower. She is a great writer and I look forward to following her!

    Hope you can deactivate all your bombs and enjoy your company!


  3. Love this Jen. I'd like to copy it down too! I left a comment for Janet...blogging will be perfect for her.

  4. A Post of Presence! Thank-you so much for sharing Janet's story and her link. It is a wonderful reminder of the 'Reason for the Season'.

  5. How lovely Janet started up a column, maybe she'll grow to love it in time. Present for my little ones - always as time is slipping us by and they'll soon be at pre school

  6. I love this line be present for my loved ones. I really want this too. Amazing post!

  7. Blogging is the perfect answer for this author - her piece on "christmas presence" is amazing, I loved every word and will print it to keep with our decorations like you do ... thanks for sharing her with us, I'll head over right now!!

  8. Hi Jen! I pour my leftover (dipping) chocolate into a clear plastic bottle (found in the wilton cake isle) with a small tip and drizzle the chocolate over the candy quickly. I only do that for family gets the nonspecial truffles! :)

  9. Loved this post Jen
    gave me the chills
    thank you for introducing
    us to Janet :)

  10. Do you know it is big into the presents/presence pun!

  11. I went. I read. I liked. Thanks for a very nice few minutes. Merry Christmas!

  12. Thank you for the present of presence! I visited Janet's blog and left a comment!

  13. Yes, the Christmas presence is only found through the greatest Christmas present - the salvation of Ephesians 2:8, "it is a GIFT of God." Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

  14. I called my blog Seizing My Day for these very reasons... Carolyn Arends sings two powerful songs... well... many ... but two ... Seize the Day.. and Every Day is New Years Day... being present in our everyday lives... =) Beautiful post... I will go comment!

  15. Dear Jen, thank you for a wonderful post! The husband and I do our best to just enjoy the simple and few things with do around this this of year to celebrate the season. It's so easy for me to get mad and frustrated when I hear and see of unthoughtful and greedy deeds and behavior. So, when I read thoughtfulness such as yours I am reassured again about and with humanity. Merry Christmas!

  16. Jen, this is lovely. I'ven ot read this before, but it is certainly thought provoking.

    I will run over and welcome your friend.

    But first, I will give you an A+ and a thank you for this wonderful post.


  17. Thank you for a thoughtful post! In years past I started stressing out about Christmas before Thanksgiving! This year {since I started working 55 hr/wks during the holiday} when I'm off I only want to focus on spending time with my family, I get teary just sitting together with them at church & I sigh with contentment & love when I come home from a long day and can share a meal they've prepared and delayed for me.
    Have a Blessed Christmas,Jen!!