Your Presence Is Your Present

Santa Cruz Montessori Elementary Garden

Do you ever worry about getting the “right” gift for your child or other special people in your life? Here are some gifts that come straight from the heart:

The Present of Listening. How do we listen? We turn off our gadgets and focus on the person. We think in terms of their interests, dreams and disappointments. We are non-judgmental. We ask questions. We try to understand.

The Present of Tenderness. A hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a touch of the hand. A cup of coffee. A cookie and milk. These tiny gestures show the love we have for family and friends.

The Present of Good Humor. Laugh, tell a joke or two, share your laughter, and smile to light up a room.

The Present of Being Alone. As much as we like to be with others, at times being alone is a wonderful gift. Give family and friends time to rest and rejuvenate. Time alone helps us refill our love buckets.

The Present of Kindness. Do something that lets loved ones know you are thinking of them. Small gestures communicate love and thoughtfulness.

The Present of a Handwritten Note. In today’s email world, a handwritten note becomes deeply personal, and sometimes treasured for years to come.

The Present of Appreciation. Being able to recognize others with simple gratitude is a gift that brightens anyone’s day.

The Present of a Positive Attitude. Help those around you see the beautiful, the hopeful and the wonderful in the world around them.

These are the jewels that shine across the decades of our lives, the golden nuggets of time in the velvet boxes of our memories. Our loving presence is our most priceless present.

*These thoughts and most of the words come courtesy of Montessorian Maren Schmidt, author of the book, “Building Cathedrals Not Walls”, and the column, “KIDS TALK”. For further information see her website at

Enjoy your children over these special days. What a gift they are to our lives and how quickly they grow!