The Four Gifts of Advent: Presence, Not Presents

Here we are in the season of Advent. For those unfamiliar with this term, it comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “arrival,” and it is used to refer to the four weeks leading up to Christmas. During Advent, we reflect and prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth – the ultimate gift.

So, in the spirit of Advent, I want to spend the next four weeks reflecting on the best gifts that we, as Christ-followers, can give to those around us. And no, I’m not talking about a car, or a new house, or a necklace from Kay Jewelers; I’m talking about the kind of gifts that leave a lasting legacy.

So, if you’ve ever struggled to find the perfect present for someone, this series is for you! And in the first week of Advent, I’m sharing the secret gift that can be given to every single person in your life, including your spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, neighbors, and coworkers… any guesses?

That’s right! It’s YOU.

Physical objects will break, be forgotten, neglected, outgrown, or thrown away… but love, time, and attention are an eternal investment. Yet, so often, we aren’t actually PRESENT with the people that we hang out with. Sure, we may physically be there, but are we emotionally there? Mentally there? Spiritually there?

How can you give the gift of PRESENCE this year?

Maybe it’s putting your phone away or turning it on silent when you are with other people. Perhaps it’s asking how your coworker is doing and then genuinely listening to their answer. Maybe it’s calling up a friend just to say hello or asking someone from work over for dinner who doesn’t have family around during the holidays. 

And here is the crazy thing – when you give the gift of your presence, you also appreciate someone else’s. By slowing down and being intentional with the relationships in your life, you convey that the other person is worthy, loved, seen, and cherished – not only by you but also by God! I challenge you to try wrapping this one up for someone this Christmas season; I promise it will be worth it!

If you would like some additional ideas on how to give the gift of presence at work, check out our FREE guide to 21 ways to care for your coworkers! Simply CLICK HERE or go to:



Used with permission from Jim Brangenberg.

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