Sage looked around the room and amongst all of the parents to find a face he recognised. I waved to him but he did not see me at first. I was worried he would think nobody thought his singing program by the school Christmas tree downstairs in the entrance was important. As soon as he found me in the audience, his eyes lit up and a smile came across his face. He blew kisses my way.
The program lasted a mere half hour with the three kindergarten classes taking turns singing various Christmas songs. It was not a large production as the one we were used to attending at their private school last year but meant just as much to the children who took part in it. It appeared most parents were able to make it and I am sure the children appreciated the fact their parents took the short time out of their day to come see them sing.
Sometimes we think it is not important to go to certain school events. We think the children will not notice if we are not there. At that point, we need to put ourselves in the place of our children and wonder how we would feel if we stood there looking out into the crowd and feeling the disappointment of not seeing a loving face amongst the group of strangers.
When we walked into the house after Seena's swimming lesson, both Seena and Sage requested my being by their side as they opened the boxes of the advent calendars sent to them by their sister and Oma from Germany. Sage's advent calendar was one from Playmobil whilst Seena's was from Lego Friends.
Since the package arrived from Germany after I had already left for Ireland, the children had plenty of windows to open on the boxes. Sage opened ten windows and Seena put together the contents of eight windows. They did not request my help with putting the pieces together, although I offered several times. The only thing they wanted, Sage in particular, was for me to be there as they opened the windows and assembled the pieces.
Being there is important for both children and adults. Taking time to sit down to dinner or setting the alarm half an hour earlier to eat breakfast with your significant other before children awaken has a meaning greater than any purchased gift.
Sometimes we tend to overthink gift giving this time of year. We believe spending more and giving more is what others want but fail to realise the importance of simplicity. We get caught up in crossing people off a list and often put unnecessary stress on ourselves and family when we are unable to find a suitable gift.
The gift of time is the most precious gift we can give. Time taken to bake cookies to give as gifts. Time taken to sit by the fireplace and read a book or two to the children. Time taken to simply sit and listen.
Friday is the last day of school for this year before the holiday break. It is also a time for the last party of the year at school. My children are excited about this day and look forward to seeing me there. I'm excited to see what they have been working on in class as a gift to the parents. Sage's party is first, followed by Seena's. Simply being there for the children is what is most important.