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The Best Present You Can Give This Holiday Season

It won't even cost you anything.

Key points

  • The best present to give another person is one's presence.
  • People are increasingly less present in their daily lives, spending an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes on screens per day.
  • Putting down one's phone and asking others thoughtful questions can spark meaningful conversations that foster connection.
Kira auf der Heide/Unsplash
Source: Kira auf der Heide/Unsplash

The holiday season is upon us and so are all the stresses that accompany it. Decorating the house, attending Christmas parties, planning family visits, and starting to shop and prepare for the big Christmas meal. Last but not least, there is also the shopping for gifts. This is one of the things that seems to cause a lot more stress than necessary.

What do they want? Or what do they need? How much should I spend? It's not easy, especially when money is tight. But it can be. How about this year you gave the most powerful present of them all: your presence.

You might laugh at that but the reality is scary.

According to reports on global internet usage in 2022:

  • The average screen time per day per person is 6 hours and 58 minutes.
  • The average daily time spent on social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes.
  • 92.1% of users are accessing the internet via mobile phones.
  • Smartphone use is approaching younger and younger infants with a shocking 49% of 0 to 2-year-olds reported interacting with smartphones.

Sure, we are often on screens for work. Yes, we can find meaningful connections with like-minded people on social media (if we choose to make them meaningful). And, of course, the internet does make it a lot easier to stay in touch with family and friends who are hundreds or thousands of miles away. These are all things to celebrate.

What we should, however, be wary of is our obsessive use of smartphones, especially in the company of other people. When someone is sitting opposite you at the dining table, keep your phone in your bag or pocket. When you're catching up with relatives in their living room, leave your phone in your coat in the hall. When you're going for a family walk on a gorgeous wintery day, leave your phone at home.

Be present for your loved ones and be present for yourself. Talk to each other. Connect with yourself and with them. Engage in mindful and meaningful conversations. Get to know each other that one step further.

If you're struggling to start the conversations, here are some questions that can get delightful discussions going:

  • What are your top three highlights of 2022?
  • What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
  • What are you most grateful for right now?
  • What is the best book you've read and why?
  • What is your all-time favorite film and why?

When you listen to your loved one, listen to them with all your five senses. Hear the words they are saying. Watch the way they tell them. Feel the energy they have when they say them. Be fully present and there for them. After all, the present is all we ever really have.

“Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”—Eckhart Tolle


Kepios Pte. Ltd., We are Social Ltd., and Hootsuite Inc. (2022). Digital 2022: Global Overview Report. Available URL:

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