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Making your presence a present

Stockings hang above a fireplace Dec. 23, 2016, in Valdosta, Ga. In the spirit of Christmas, the family of Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson, 23d Wing photojournalist, decorated their stockings and hung them by the chimney with care, hoping that Santa Claus would soon be there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Stockings hang above a fireplace Dec. 23, 2016, in Valdosta, Ga. In the spirit of Christmas, the family of Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson, 23d Wing photojournalist, decorated their stockings and hung them by the chimney with care, hoping that Santa Claus would soon be there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

There’s still glitter everywhere. In the spirit of Christmas, I bought the glue and glitter separately so when the kids decorated their stockings they’d have complete creative control. Naturally most of the glitter ended up everywhere but on the stockings and that’s okay.

From decorating stockings, to buying and wrapping gifts, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of countless things we have to complete during the holidays that we forget to be present.

Being present during the holidays, regardless of what holiday you celebrate, is important. There may be things you love about this time of year and fond memories from your childhood that you can pass down to your children that will bring your family together.

Growing up, I’d do tons of school ornament projects so I never needed to do that kind of stuff at home. I’ve put my face on gingerbread men, reindeer and snowmen and filled up the tree with ridiculous looking, hand-made ornaments.

I remember bringing my ornament home from school and beaming with pride when I showed my mom and got to put it on my tree.

The older my kids get, the less of that they get to do at school, but it doesn’t stop us from spending time together and doing it at home and it shouldn’t stop you either; bust out the glue, glitter, construction paper and any other craft supplies and create some memories.

The best part about the craft projects is spending quality time with my children and watching them be creative. Maybe crafting isn’t your thing, or you don’t want your house filled with glitter and tacky ornaments. That’s okay, there are other ways you can be present and make memories.

Another thing from my childhood that’s always stuck with me is the memory of my family watching movies together on Christmas Eve.

Now my wife, kids and I all wear matching pajamas, we drink hot cocoa, eat cookies and popcorn while we watch movies my wife and I enjoyed watching when we were kids. I feel good sharing memories with my kids about what I thought when I first saw the movie, how my parents and sister reacted to certain scenes and watching them enjoy a movie that I love.

By watching movies, decorating stockings and doing arts and crafts I’ve not only gotten my family in the holiday spirit, but I did it without any gifts.

Sure they’ll remember that game system or new phone, but they’ll smile when they remember they spilled an entire container of glitter and how everyone found glitter on them months afterwards.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the time we’ll spend together. We’ve already decorated our stockings and argued about who’s wasting the glitter, now it’s your turn!

So, don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of finding, buying, wrapping and delivering the perfect gifts this holiday season because the most important things you can give your family are memories.

Remember that your presence is a present and memories are forever.