What People Want the Most From You This Christmas

Over the years of leading girls at incredible, life-changing and memorable Young Life camps, we have a tradition that we keep. Near the end of the week, all of the students, leaders and volunteers scrunch into the big clubroom and watch the video highlight reel of the past week. The video team does an amazing job capturing the games, songs, meals, activities, sports, adventures and special moments from the week, and we all sit on the floor to see it unfold on the big screen. We laugh, cry and reflect on what an amazing time we all had.

One year when I was watching the video with my Young Life girls, as we were all crammed in together on the floor of the room, for a moment I stopped watching the video. Instead, I watched the students watching the video. I looked around the room at the 500 high school students sitting on the floor with their eyes glued to the big screens, and I realized something: Every single person in this room is thinking the same thing right at this exact moment.

I hope I see myself.

In a time when teenagers are more addicted to their phones than ever before, not a single person took their eyes off of the video for even a moment. They didn’t want to miss the possibility that they might be up there, they might be featured, they might be noticed.

And the same is true for every single person in our lives. Young or old, male or female, introvert or extrovert, needy or independent—every single person has a deep desire to simply be seen; to be noticed.

So this Christmas season, I want to encourage you to shake off the stress and pressure to perform. I want to invite you to resist the temptation to buy the perfect present, cook the perfect meals, and host the perfect party—all while looking perfect. Instead, remember what every person in your life wants more than anything else this season.

They don’t want your stuff. They want you.

They want your eye contact and your attention, your love and affection. They just want to be noticed.

Slow down, spend quality (translation: unrushed!) time, put your phone down, and look your loved ones in the eyes. It might just be the very best gift you can give this season.

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