present, Five Minute Friday, presence, gatherToday I’m joining a talented group of writers at Five Minute Friday. This community connects each Friday in an online, unedited free-write based on a one-word prompt. My timer is set for 5 minutes. Let’s see where this week’s prompt—PRESENT—leads me.


Likely many are thinking of the list of presents they need to buy, wrap, ship, or deliver. In our family, we’ve created a new process, thanks to the pandemic.

However, before I share that with you, I’d like to tell you about the decision my husband and I landed on some three decades ago. Each Christmas I’d make a list of things I needed/wanted, jot down the store where it could be found, size (if necessary), color, cost. Then Bob could take off shopping with a lot less frustration than if he had to come up with the list and figure out where to shop. 

After watching his frustration for several years, we discussed a new way to give and receive. We asked what gift could we give each other better than we had given on August 15, 1981—ourselves! And so it has been since that long-ago discussion. We don’t buy each other gifts at Christmas or other holidays, not even our anniversary.

Now to today’s process for our kids, grandkids, and great-grands this Christmas. Since we are under lockdown in Oregon and we’re both immune-compromised, I’m shopping online for gift cards. Each family member who lands on our Christmas list will receive one inside a Christmas card via USPS. Hopefully, they can enjoy the delight of shopping for themselves online and not be disappointed.

However, with Advent upon us until Christmas Eve, present means so much more than I’ve written above. I’m stepping outside the busyness, the noise, and minimizing the financial element and stress of the season, only imposed by society and me. I’m inviting in the Christ Child, Jesus, as the presence I’m seeking this Christmas.

2020 has been a long slow slog for all of us. I think His Presence is what is needed for each of us. Being present with Christ is so comforting, soul-satisfying, and joy-filled. Why not make that the present you give to yourself on Christmas Day, 2020?

Saviour, Christ, born, nativity, Star of Bethlehem
Attribution: https://bityl.co/4iKO

Featured image attribution: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Note: Images added outside five-minute time limit.

12 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday Link-Up :: Present

  1. I’m going to say the best thing I can in the least amount of words: Amen. 😀

  2. Sherrey, I’m right there with you as you know. I love this post, and appreciate the reminder that it’s the Presence I need more than anything else—now and always.

    1. Funny thing, Linda, I was thinking of our “conversations” we’ve had before. I’m glad I could provide a reminder that the Presence is what we need more than anything else.

  3. I tell Barb she has everything,
    as all the world can see;
    a reallly pretty badass ring
    shows that she married ME!
    But last week she told me that
    (and tears were in her eyes)
    she had been helping socialize
    a small psychotic cat
    whose shelter-time was running low,
    for none want to adopt
    a ticking bomb and so they go
    find something sweet and soft.
    So I pushed dear wife out the gate;
    “Bring ‘er home, don’t make ‘er wait!”

    And Goldie is a really trippy little thing, whose BFF has become Labby the 150-lb Labrador.

    1. To preserve the rhyme scheme of a Shakepearean sonnet, the second quatrain SHOULD have read…

      But last week tears were in her eyes
      when she told me that
      she had been helping socialize
      a small psychotic cat…

      Ah, well. It’s Saturday.

    2. Andrew, thanks for dropping in and sharing some poetry with me. This is really beautiful. About 18 months ago, we adopted a stray black cat (male) who is hyperactive and brings a total atmosphere change to our home and our resident kitty of 10 years. Some days they’re BFFs; others not so much. But it is a present we give them to provide them safe harbor and nourishment.

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