Your Presence Is The Best Present


A rough start to the holidays.

My holiday season has gotten off to a rough start. I’d planned to serve Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30. At noon, the turkey wasn’t close to cooked.

Not even close, I tell you!

Mashed potatoes and stuffing, sweet potatoes and green been casserole waited impatiently in warming ovens.


At 3:30pm that bird finally surrendered enough breast meat to give each person a sliver.


Girls, it was the ugliest looking plate of food I’ve ever served on Thanksgiving. Tasty, but ugly.

Interestingly, holding dinner hostage gave us all time to really catch up and interact. To connect. It was relaxed and fun for everyone. Everyone but me!

I should all over myself.

I should have had more snacks. I should have double checked the cooking time. I should have made the turkey the day before. I should never host a big party like this again. And on and on.

Funny thing, though. The next day I got texts and calls from all our guests telling us what a wonderful time they had. The fact that we served shriveled veggies and crusty potatoes didn’t matter.

Apparently, the fact that I miscalculated the cooking time by three hours escaped their attention or the diversion of actual interaction was so appreciated they’d forgotten about their rumbling tummies.

We need connection!

It was a great reminder that we need the connection with each other as much as we need food.

2000 years ago, Jesus came to the earth to be with us. Immanuel – God with us! “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14

What a difference He made in our lives! His present to us was, and still is, His presence. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The first person to make sure to connect with is HIM!  “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 That way you’ll have the reserves to share your time with others. 

Oh, Girlfriend, it’s so worth waking up 10 minutes earlier, or going to bed a few minutes later or spending a little bit of your lunch break with God to be refreshed and revived to face the busyness of this season and the needs of people in your life. 

Give the best present – your presence! 

This season, let’s not get so carried away with the cooking and cleaning and decorating, and gift buying that we don’t have time to be present. Present with God and present with friends and family. 

This holiday, take time to be present. Really present. Give yourself permission to be the best present by giving your presence.

Who’s in? Leave me a comment to let me know how you can give the best present … your presence.  

Lord, as we celebrate your glorious birth this season, be with us. Urge us to come out of our own busyness and get past our own stuff to be present with people who need to see you in us. Make me a great representative of who you are in my life so that others would want more of you, too. Thank you Jesus, amen. 


  1. Shirley Carson on December 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    MY plans changed on Nov 25 when I fell and broke my shoulder! Surgery followed and now recuperating. But can’t do anything I had planned! So we are skipping the tree, the decorating, the holiday baking, and most of the gifts. This year cash will have to do.. …Certainly it’s easier. I’m the one who’s used to doing it all and I love it! But God slowed me down this year and I can say I really needed a “break” ; just not like this!
    Love your postings.. they always come when needed the most. Merry Christmas!

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 16, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Shirley
      So sorry about the broken “wing” Prayers for a quick healing.
      My grandma used to say cash has no enemies. 🙂
      Merry Christmas!

  2. Sandy Allen on December 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    By not being so concerned about what I couldn’t or didn’t do but enjoying the people I am with,

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 16, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Good advice any time of year, Sandy!

  3. Charlotte wheeler on December 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Spending time just sitting with senior citizens and listening to their Christmas stories, just listening

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 16, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      That is a great way to be present!

  4. LouAnn Nay on December 17, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    My friend’s 93 year old mother fell and broke four ribs. She came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving day and has to stay at her daughters house until after New Years due to complications. Some of us are taking turns “visiting ” with Momma so that the daughter and her hubby can have dates, or shop or just sleep. We are giving presents with our presence.

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 17, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      That is a PERFECT example. Way to go and thanks for posting LouAnn.

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