The Real Present

christmas gift and lupus

The Real Present

Everyone is busy. Decorating homes, planning a big meal, buying gifts, and getting new outfits for parties and pictures. Last Friday, my kids reminded me of what is really important to celebrate.

I had a special dinner planned for my family, my two boys, and my husband.

I got pulled into all the busy bee, Christmas to-do list, crazy schedule. My house was sparkly clean, the table was set with seasonal china, and a red table towel to match the spirit of the season. I had a special menu planned for us to celebrate Christmas before our end of the year family trip.

As they got home, right after school, I asked them what dish they preferred to have with the ingredients I had bought. With no second thought, their answer surprised me. – “Mom, Friday night is pizza night, so why not have pizza.”

Just for the records, I am not talking about a secret family pizza recipe with a complicated homemade dough that uses yeast from Italy. No. they were referring to take out cheese pizza from a local store. 

At that moment, the truth hit me on my face.

Why did I overcomplicate something that was meant to be warm and cozy, a family get-together to celebrate love. 

What really matters is not the setup, how beautifully we dress, or the price tag of what we are eating. What matters is what we feel inside, and with whom we are spending time with.

From the eyes of my children, I saw the values that are the real deal. The precious gift is to be present with the ones we love. Not only physically present but with our minds and hearts. No phones, messages, social media pictures. Just being, enjoying the very moment we are in, together.

The Gift of Our Presence

In my view, time is the biggest treasure I have. Time makes things simpler in my life, solves problems, helps my wounds heal, and above all, teaches me patience and resilience. Time has shown me that nothing lasts forever.

For life to be worth, time needs to be appreciated in full. We need to live in the moment, be aware of what we feel inside, and nurture our soul. Love and pay attention to the people around us and be the best person we can be.

The List

I don’t remember the gifts I received in my past Christmas. The majority is probably gone. What I remember is the people I was with, the hugs I gave and received, the love stories shared, my dad’s eyes, the loud laughs my family makes when everyone is happily sharing a meal.

My suggestion to you is to prioritize love over gifts. Open your heart, and love yourself. Remember that our health comes first. That our wellbeing is a combination of what we think and do, with how we feel and what we choose to eat. Without our health, nothing else matters; and we cannot be present with the ones we love the most.

I have three wishes for you:

  • To have always hope. Hope in yourself, faith in others, and belief in a better future. I hope for a cure to lupus.
  • That all the pains and traumas will be left in the past, forgotten. That your heart will be as light as a feather, and your smile brighter than the sun.
  • That your eyes see happiness and joy inside out, appreciate the beautiful moments you share, and embrace the life you are in with love and gratitude.

May your days be filled with hope. May you give and get the gift of presence. Today and forever.

Merry Christmas,


“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Madre Theresa


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