I remember when I was a kid and my parents would put presents under a tree and for weeks we would wait excitedly for the moment when we would get to open them. It was a great tradition that ended when we grew up, moved out, and started families of our own.
Our family did the Christmas present thing for a while when our kids were young, but the tradition stopped when we started doing big family trips over the year-end holidays when our kids got old enough to do two-week trips halfway around the world. Those trips were some of the greatest moments for our family and were Christmas presents in and of themselves.
We have done a secret santa program here and there over the last decade but for the most part, we don’t exchange Christmas presents anymore. Everyone seems pretty fine with that. I certainly don’t need another sweater.
This year has been the strangest of my lifetime. And yet here we are on Christmas Day and I am counting the presents I have received in the last week. An outpouring of caring from thousands of you who reached out to me in the last few days. A TCO from the NYC DOB on our passive house apartment building we have been making for almost five years. Enough rapid Covid tests to allow our immediate family to safely get together today and celebrate Christmas. And a Zoom with my mom and all of her kids and grandkids and great-grandkids this afternoon.
The best presents are not the ones you can wrap in gift paper and put under a tree. The best presents are the intangible things that make us who we are. And I’ve got a lot of them “under our tree” this year.
Merry Christmas Everyone.