“Your presence is present enough” are the words written at the bottom of all our party invitations. I firmly mean it when I say it is just your presence that means the most to our family.
We don’t have a large or traditional family. We are blessed to have a family of friends and a few relatives who comprise our “people.”
When I started this request at birthday parties and holidays celebrated with gifts, it was to combat the clutter and the closets full of forgotten “things.” Over time I see that it is the moments, not the things, that my children remember most.
Taking a trip to New York for Easter and all the delicious goodies Aunt B makes, playing games with our fun Uncle J on Christmas, the friends who are there to sing “Happy Birthday” each year, visits from Aunt M and Uncle S, gardening with them in the backyard, and experiences with friends are what get talked about most when we bring up holidays and special memories.
Thanksgiving is the only holiday traditionally my husband and I spend alone. The day is filled with watching the parade, football, and food. As parents, I add crafts and three kitchen helpers to the day. This year my eight-year-old began asking, “Who can come to our Thanksgiving?”
The day of, she looked a bit lost and asked again why no one had joined us for the holiday. The questions broke me apart. Just like her, I look forward to having people around us. I won’t always be able to give my children everything, but I can request something they seek, which is your presence.
Mom and Dad will happily fulfill their wish list for everything they desire (except for the swing set that’s been asked for the second consecutive year). Our home is still far from minimalist. I only ask that you give my children what I can’t.