The Gift of Here and Now

One of the great gifts of any holiday season is time. In an age of hurried living and distraction, what I am most looking forward to over the holidays is just time. Time to connect over shared meals. Time to tell stories of holidays past. Time to journal in bed. Time to read the illustrated Goblet of Fire. Time to find Waldo. Time to play Settlers of Catan. Time to laugh over Madlibs. Time to take notice of the world, people, (and pets) around me.

Usually, I fill the holiday season with to-do lists. I then expeditiously cross things off my list to feel as though the time was well spent. Instead, this year, I’m making an effort to find joy in the here and now. I’m giving myself permission to not always know what to do with my time.

We know that boredom is often the catalyst for creativity. It’s why we have so many creativity bursts in the shower when we are free from any particular focus. This holiday season, free yourself (and your students and children) from deadlines and to-dos. Here are some simple questions you can ask yourself to prioritize the here and now this holiday season:

Connection: Who will you connect with and how will you let them know they are important to you?

Choice: What seemingly ordinary part of your day will you choose to slow down and take notice of this holiday season?

Challenge: What new things might you try because you want to not because you have to?

Play: What will play look like for you?

Story: What is the story of the holidays you want to look back on? What stories will you tell? What stories will you read? What stories might you create?

Discovery: How can you remind yourself to take notice of things that give you a feeling of awe?

Movement: How will you intentionally move to be more wide-awake to the here and now?

If you are looking for a little extra inspiration, I recommend reading aloud the picture book Here and Now by Julia Denos with someone you love. Or, better yet, have someone you love read it to you. It is a picture book meditation on how to live life more fully present. After all, time is the one resource we can never replace.