Write2Day–Presents versus Presence

Many of us are preparing to celebrate the holidays, each in his or her own way. Winter Solstice is the 22nd (0530 U.T.), reminding us of the play of light and darkness, this being the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The holiday I celebrate is Christmas, the birth of Christ, even though we have no evidence as to when Jesus was actually born. The early Church took the prevailing festival of Saturn and adopted December 25th, the date midpoint in the event, in an attempt to incorporate the cultural traditions in which it found itself into its liturgical calendar.

Our world view has evolved, in part, thanks to the interconnectedness created by our Internet communities. We have become so much more aware of other traditions and thus attempt to become more inclusive. For me, this underlines how much we are alike, rather than emphasizing differences. In my lifetime experience, Christmas has become more secularized/commercialized and, for many, has lost its spiritual significance. Yet common themes of light, love, and giving remain important.

This week I was struck by a poem written by fellow blogger, Charles Mashburn. Without going into the poem itself, (I hope you will check it out) the message that struck me was the idea of Presence vs. Presents. As my own faith has matured, I see Christmas as a celebration of God, however God shows up in our lives: Presence. At the same time, I enjoy the anticipation of a child as I eye the Presents waiting under the tree and as I try to choose things that will please those I love. It’s all about giving, and receiving Love.

So, for this week’s prompt, I invite you to share your point of view about the holidays. And don’t be surprised if we encounter one or more common denominators. 

To participate:

  • Write an essay, short story or poem and post it to your blog.
  • Copy the URL and your Name into the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Take a few moments to read other bloggers and comment on their work.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, Holidays!

29 thoughts on “Write2Day–Presents versus Presence

  1. zongrik says:

    if you’re coming by my way, want to stop by and visit? write me an email, you get it with the comment. i can give you my number in the email. 🙂


  2. zongrik says:

    you’ll love the pic of what i saw in the desert. i even put in the coordinates, so you could really see it’s in the middle of nowhere on a satellite map.

    i know you, Victoria, have been around here, so you know the concept of the middle of nowhere in this desert.


  3. Hi Victoria,
    I am just starting to catch up to some of the past postings on various sites including yours.
    I’m not sure if this fits your challenge but it’s a video I found profoundly touching. I think it’s in keeping with the spirit of Christmas ….
    Merry Christmas …. and LOVE your tree …..!!! ~~~~ : – )


  4. […] get to the meaning behind them. I’m linking this to dVerse Poetics and to my own prompt on Presents vs. Presence. Also to Gooseberry Gardens where the prompt is Holiday Traditions. […]


  5. Mary says:

    i definitely believe in presence vs. presence; I will do some serious thinking tonight, Victoria, and will be back with a poem. It is an important theme, begs to be addressed.


  6. I just dropped by to wish you a great holiday season!. I look forward to next year’s posts!


  7. Morning says:

    not cold, no snow in my place.

    perfect and cool.

    Thanks for the visit.


  8. Morning says:

    have a fun time.

    linked in an old one, thanks for the inspirations.


  9. I do agree with all of this. It seems since my own childhood of, it being more emphasis on family time, home cooking and a present or two, it has been comercialised out of all it’s original intention really. Well said.


  10. […] everyone Happy Christmas holidays! May you all gather a little of the charm left under the Christmas tree and carry it […]


  11. claudia says:

    presents vs. presence..this is great..have never thought this way.. will be interesting to see with what people will come up with..now on my way to check out the poem..


  12. Thank you, Karin, for pointing out to me that I had noted Winter Solstice as the longest day of the year. It’s quite the opposite!!!


  13. Ruth says:

    What a beautiful tree! I felt its presence before I noticed the presents – that’s how I like it….


  14. Luke Prater says:

    I have a Christmas poem or two I’d like to share… great idea, V


  15. ManicDdaily says:

    Hi Victoria! I am definitely in favor of presence over presents! K.


  16. brian says:

    nice victoria…there is a vast difference between the two…but in presence i find you get the presents often but not so the other way around…i think christmas can be lost luggage in the airport if we get too busy with all the obligations and miss out on the moments…not sure i will get to the prompt but will probably enjoy a few to see what others thoughts are…


    • Nice, reflective comment, Brian. I don’t expect that many links this week, Brian. I just finished reading my “assignment” for OLN. It’s a crazy week for many. Enjoy your celebration.


      • Sheila Moore says:

        pretty tree, Victoria. I had a migraine yesterday and today so I haven’t even started reading OLN posts. Will get to them in the am barring anymore migraines. I just wanted to check in and tell you how much I like your tree and to say Merry Christmas!


  17. souldipper says:

    All that you’ve said about Christmas – ditto! I just posted something that fits into your theme with a little wiggling and squeezing. So I used Mr. Linky.


  18. Baishali says:

    Merry christmas to all . 🙂


  19. markwindham says:

    Merry Christmas All!


  20. […] Live2writetoday posted a prompt for Christmas with the theme of Presents vs Presence. Still with kids at home, it is very much about both for us. Two offerings here about our Christmas events. One more focused on tradition; the things we do, the activities the kids expect. The second somewhat more whimsical. […]


  21. Bodhirose says:

    Here’s my offering, Victoria, of which you have already commented and thought it would be appropriate for today’s prompt. You are so right.


    Happy Holidays, my friend! xo


  22. […] adding this to Write2Day–Presents versus Presence:  https://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/write2day-presents-versus-presence/#comments GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]


  23. vivinfrance says:

    Busy days ahead, but I hope to find some time to fulfil this prompt. Maybe later rather than sooner.


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