Every year as we trim our tree and Perry Como’s rich baritone voice fills our living room with The Little Drummer Boy, I find myself slipping back in time to those magical days when my kiddo, Jeremy, was about to turn two. That was the first year he was really old enough to start participating in the season’s festivities, so everything was new and exciting. It was also the year he taught us how to “fresh mint” the holidays.

“Fresh minting” is one of my favorite terms from my acting-days-of-old. It means experiencing something you’ve done or said before, as if it’s the very first time.

Music is a big part of my life, so in our house, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey has met his demise, the carols hit the airwaves. The Little Drummer Boy has always been a favorite (the Celtic Women version is particularly awesome), and the year we started teaching Jeremy the song, we would sing the lyrics and he would jump in with a rousing “Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum!”

Like many of you, I’ve heard The Little Drummer Boy hundreds if not thousands of times over the years. I’ve heard it, sung it, but to be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the words until the year we taught it to Jeremy (one of the best things about teaching is that you re-learn it yourself!).

So that year, as I launched into the second verse, I actually paid attention…

Little baby, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.

I am a poor boy too – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.

I have no gifts to bring – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum

That’s fit to give our king, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum.

Shall I play for you – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum – on my drum?

And, with my son belting out, “Pa-rum-pa-pa-pum!” in the background, I thought to myself … maybe the little drummer boy had the right idea.

After all, the first verse talks about bringing our “finest gifts” to “lay before the king,” yet the little drummer boy totally stole the show by simply showing up with heart and sharing his gift. Maybe instead of jumping into the shopping fray, to buy the newest video game or legos set, the “finest gifts” can’t be purchased at the mall.

What would happen if, this year, we all decided that the best present we could give anyone would be to share our gifts?

I recognize that we don’t all possess musical talents, but we all have gifts. The gift of being present. The gift of really listening. The gift of really seeing. Really being ourselves. Really appreciating one another for our own uniqueness. Really showing up with heart and, as if it were the first time we’ve said it, let someone know how much they mean to us.

What if we allowed ourselves to really show up?

“Fresh minting” requires being present. Completely.  Present and real. Maybe being present really is the best present.

❤️I wish all of you a very happy holiday! Hold your families close. Risk loving full-out. In the midst of the craziness, remember your “why.”

Kimberly Davis, Author of Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Powerful, and Authentic Self to Get the Results You Need