The Greatest Gift: Seeking Presence Among the Presents


In honor of National Caregiving Month, we reached out to some of our community partners who are subject experts when it comes to caregiving. They have some wonderful ideas on how to make this season special! 

This guest blog was written by Caroline King and the East Tennessee Personal Care Service Team. They are a licensed and insured non-medical personal care service serving the Knoxville area and surrounding counties. To learn more about ETPCS, visit their website here:


The Greatest Gift: Seeking Presence Among the Presents


If you are like most AmerHoliday to do listican households, your list of “to dos” for the holidays just seems to grow and grow. We don’t know how it happens but it does. Now add some aging friends and family members to your already exhaustive list and you have a full-blown holiday stress mess on your hands. We are overwhelmed.

Well, I am going to encourage you to add one more thing to your list. I would like you to focus on giving PRESENCE this year. Not presents…PRESENCE. Presence is one of the most difficult things to pursue at the holidays and yet, it is the most priceless gift you can give anyone, anywhere, anytime. Families face multiple challenges and distractions during the holidays that tend to rob us of our ability to be present in the moment.

Here are some ways to pursue PRESENCE this year with the ones that you love most:

  • Lose the phone: Make a decorative “PHONE DROP” and place it by the coats and bags. This has revolutionized holidays at our house.
  • Crafting: Make a craft together. This is a wonderful holiday activity for families of all ages. Tree garlands, painted ornaments, etc. Thanksgiving Craft
  • Make it a group activity: Instead of trying to rush and do everything BEFORE family arrive, include the family. From grocery shopping to cooking to decorating the house, it won’t be perfect and it will be slightly more chaotic but sweet memories will be made. Sharing an activity with someone is a wonderful way to bond over the holidays.
  • Ask for help: Hire someone to help you with the things that need to get done but are keeping you from time with your loved ones.
  • Help your loved ones: The holidays are tough for our aging loved ones who are increasingly facing challenges with their health and independence. Empower them to keep going by hiring a personal caregiver to help.
  • Simplify: Time is the gift you can always give but you can never get back. Make an effort to decrease the holiday “hustle” and increase your quality time. If this means ordering pizza…do it. Choose people over presentation.

Let us give (and receive) the sweetest, most precious gift there is this year: time with each other.


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