Regardless what denomination you are celebrating this holiday season remember the most important element – the Presence. Being present is most important in any part of anyone’s life. Giving and receiving presents is not as important as just being there with friends and family and all those you love. This season please try to give the gift of your presence.
This product is designed by and is solely owned by Just Dandy Stuff.
Share a story on our social media platforms about your most memorable holiday. More than likely it was an event or a person that made it unforgettable and not a gift or present. Start a conversation on how we could all be more present for each other—after all presence is much more valuable and sometimes more rare.
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THE STORY BEHIND THIS CREATION by the designer
‘Tis the season. The Holiday Season. The time where each of us celebrates a religious or cultural holiday of enlightenment, joy, and hope. There are many of these holidays being celebrated during the months of November and December. Here are just a few.
Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. The core of this holiday is to celebrate in remembrance with family and friends the “Eight Crazy Nights” as Adam Sandler sang.
Christmas is the celebration of the day God sent his son, Jesus, into the world to be born. The core of this day is the joy of God’s love to send to earth the Savior of man to be born only to eventually die to open the gates of heaven for mankind. For most, it is about Santa, the North Pole, the Elves, the Reindeers, the gifts…
The secular festival observed by many African Americans from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values is called Kwanzaa which includes assembling a Kwanzaa display, lighting candles, reflecting on the principle of the day, honoring ancestors, reflecting deeply during Imani, and of course preparing and sharing traditional foods.
A Muslim holiday that celebrates and commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This holiday is known as Eid, Eid al-Fitr, Lesser Eid, or Festival of Breaking the Fast and it's observed by Muslims all over the world in December. When fasting is over, there is a celebration with, you guessed it, food, delicious traditional meals.
While the Hindu (and Sikh) equivalent to Christmas and Hannukah is a festival of lights called Divali (sometimes Diwali or Deepavili) is usually celebrated at the end of October, beginning of November, Pancha Ganapati is a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Ganesha.
On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (or on December 8th in Japan), a Buddhist holiday called Bodhi Day celebrates the day of enlightenment through meditation for the historical buddha, Siddhartha Gautam.
And let’s not forget Festivus – “the holiday for the rest of us”. Yes, a holiday celebrated by some on December 23, Fesitvus is the name of a secular and non-commercial holiday characterized by the raising of an aluminum pole, the serving of a dinner, the airing of grievances, and the demonstration of feats of strength. The original Festivus dinner in the O'Keefe household featured a main course of turkey, ham, beef stew or lamb chops with pecan pie as dessert as described in the book "The Real Festivus", authored by writer Dan O'Keefe (the original writer of the Seinfeld episode).
As these are just some of the major celebrations in November and December for most religions and cultures, these all encompass the all too often referred to category of the Holiday Season.
Yes, during the “Holiday Season” for all these religions and cultures, there is a celebration involving cooking, baking, celebration, lights and, of course, gifts.
Ah. Look at all the food. Look at all the decorations. And the lights. And all those beautiful presents colorfully wrapped with ornate big bows enticing you to open. What could be inside? Are all these presents for you?
The Holiday season is this short time span that occurs every year on or just after Thanksgiving. This can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. In this short time, we all have to continue to maintain our daily hectic routines and responsibilities while spending all our spare time on decorating, baking, and buying and wrapping presents. Regardless what holiday you celebrate, the additional tasks at hand can be time consuming, daunting and stressful. For all of us.
And yet, year after year, even knowing the impending additional work necessary to make it a joyous and festive holiday and no matter how much you plan in advance, it seems to be impossible to get everything done. It’s time consuming. It’s taxing. It’s intense. Can we be able to get it all done in such a short time period?
We all want the holidays to be perfect. The perfect gift. The perfect decorations. The perfect meal. The perfect dessert.
What would happen if you only decorated inside the house and not the outside? And only one room? What would happen if you ordered a meal instead of cooking for five days? What would happen if you only baked one pie? Does it all really matter?
After you spent all this time decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, before you know it the holidays are over in a flash. Then you have to do the dishes, take down and put away the decorations. And let’s not get started on the returning of the gifts---ugh, those return lines.
Year after year the holidays come and go and there is no time to breathe let alone enjoy them. Each of the holidays are planned to be a celebration of joy, peace, love, family, friends and all the intangibles. Yet the past few decades the focus of the holidays have centralized on the tangibles. The decorations, meals, gifts, outdoing the Jones (yes, Griswalds we are talking about you). Did the true meaning of these holidays lose its purpose?
What if we didn’t focus on the tangibles. What if we truly celebrated the time spent with family and friends. Without the decorations. Without the meals and desserts. Without the gifts.
What if we put the intangibles as the centerpiece for the Holidays. The Joy. The Peace. The Love.
Yes, the Holidays have become all about the Presents.
In this design “The Holiday Season It’s All About the Presence”, the word is not misspelled. The purpose of the spelling is to put focus of the holidays back where it belongs. It’s all about the Presence.
Being present is the only thing that should be expected in any celebration or gathering. It’s the time spent with each other. It’s the conversations, the laughter, the togetherness, the memories. The wrapped boxes, the candles, the food, the desserts, the decorations, etc.—they are all unimportant distractions from the core of the essence of any of these holidays celebrated during the Holiday Season or any gathering or celebration any time of the year.
A present is defined as something that is thoughtfully given to someone without expectation of return, a gift.
Presence is defined as the state of existing, occurring, or being present.
So, this holiday season, make sure you “present” yourself to all those around you. Your presence, after all, is the best gift you have to give to anyone anyway. Isn’t it?