My Favorite Gift


The lights were glaring from the Christmas tree as holiday music blared from the speakers in my living room. I was in the kitchen cooking, waiting to eat Christmas dinner and exchange gifts with my loved ones. I was excited to see their faces as they unwrapped the very things they wanted but didn't know I paid attention to.

The time came and went, and as they prepared to leave, I couldn't help but think of how blessed I am on this day. I looked at the gifts overflowing from my coffee table onto my floor and couldn't help but express gratitude. Everything I asked for decorated my living room. I hugged my mother and took photos. And, in that moment, while recalling the trying year it's been and the happiness I was able to experience despite it, I realized what my favorite gift was.

Of all the electronic, brand-building, self-love inspired, intellectually provoking gifts, my favorite one couldn't even be seen. It wasn't on the table or on the floor. It wasn't under the tree or in the gift bag I'd forgotten in the corner. It wasn't in the car, or sitting in my e-mail as a subscription or an electronic gift card.

In fact, my favorite gift is multifaceted and encompasses so much—none of which were physically there. Things I sometimes take for granted, but always retrospectively appreciate.

My favorite gift is embodied in THE ENERGY. It shifts my spirit. It's a soothing calmness in the midst of chaos. It's welcoming. It's warmth. It's love. It relaxes my soul when anxiety holds my body hostage and releases the tension I otherwise wouldn't be able to. It's this space of creating, envisioning, and experiencing both the best and the worst, yet holding onto the goodness that is this gift. It is the aura; the good vibes; the positivity.

My favorite gift is present in THE PROTECTION. The protection I thank You for every night before falling into the deepest slumber and dreaming of more of Your goodness. It's what I pray each night for—wishing it upon my life for yet another day. I close my eyes and hope that it'll miraculously appear, as it usually does in my dwelling place, protecting me while I sleep. While my eyes are closed I let it saturate the walls of my apartment, radiating a comfort only You could provide. It's a true gift. It's my favorite gift. It's the tight embrace of your arms as I fight, for the last time, this day's demons. As I dream of bigger moments and brighter days. As I reach for more, it's the feeling of you stretching my arms just a little further, helping me reach for the stars.

My favorite gift is evidenced by THE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT. The peace that I get after every prayer. The support I get after every concern. I yearn for it because it completes me when I feel most incomplete. It inspires me. It forces me to dig deep and pull off scabs I never wanted to resurface. Scabs that never healed properly the first time. It rips them off gently, with hope and healing. It brings a lasting smile on my face even in the moments filled with tears. It's sitting on cloud nine after having just walked through hell. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

My favorite gift is YOUR PRESENCE. I cannot live without it—and frankly, I wouldn't want to. I wouldn't dare endure a day without this unyielding love You provide me. I carry it with me everywhere and sing about it from the mountaintops—off key and with much excitement. With much gratitude. With much admiration.

And as I sit in this moment, in awe of the loved poured into me this holiday season, I can't help but thank You for providing in ways I could've never imagined. For touching me in ways I would've never thought You could. For blessing me beyond anything I could've ever asked for. Had my tree been adorned with nothing, and my table as empty as the day it was purchased, my being would still be dressed with your spirit. My apartment would still be graced with Your presence. My soul still covered with your love. And for that you have become, and always will be, my favorite gift.

Your presence is all the present I need on today—and every day hereafter. 

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