The boy's laughter would fill the house as he ran to and fro jumping and having a wonderful time. His mom and dad would watch him play and laugh along with him as they cherished their hugs and kisses. Toys brought joy to him just as much as he brought joy to his parents.
In the wake of a long battle with illness, the boy passed away and I painted him as a commissioned portrait for his mother—a loving gift from his father to his wife and family so they could all remember him as he was—happy, healthy and loved.
The gift was to remind them of the joys of love, laughter and those Christmas memories that give us all meaning. I have them too—I remember the smile on my daughter’s face when she opened her gifts to find just what she had dreamed of. I remember catching my son as he leaped into my arms filled with pure excitement and wide-eyed wonder after discovering his brand new toys. I also have the fresh memory of telling my father I loved him as he slowly passed away just a couple of weeks ago.
Now, as the years have set in filling my heart with memories of both joy and sorrow, I realize that all the toys and products we design and sell, all the presents we wrap and leave under the tree and even our hard fought career accomplishments are nothing compared to our greatest treasures of all—those we love.
In looking back to the memories of my days lived out here on this celestially challenged ball we call planet Earth and even looking toward the future filled with all that life has to offer, I have discovered the most precious gift of all is the Christmas present—the now.
Just for a moment, set aside the titles and targeted goals, the tasks and the projected sales, the next acquisition or big deal that needs to be closed. Forget about your career and strategic relationships and even the bills and bank account. I know, I know—it isn’t easy but try to let it all go so your hands are free to hold on tightly to the wonderful Christmas present you have been given.
The present is God’s gift to us all and what we do with our present is our gift to God. Take advantage of your present by using it to kiss your loved ones and hold them tight. Spend this moment in time by letting them know how much you love them and how much you really do care.
Say the words that need to be said because those thoughts are so much more important than the glitter and the glamor and the stuff wrapped in the box. Yes, be sure to remember the joy of gifts given in years past and all that we may recieve in the future, but above all hold on even tighter to your Christmas present.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!