This holiday season, let your presence be the present.

When you are living in the moment and present with those around you, you are a gift to all those you come into contact.

It is easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy and experience stress. Sometimes, we catch ourselves thinking, “When I finish the following items on my to-do list, then I will able to relax and enjoy the holiday.” But we’ve come to learn this is a false belief—the only real time is now. We see this particularly in the eyes of our children, who naturally live in the moment and, therefore, don’t understand having to put up with unpleasant means just to get to an end. Justifying our frazzled, harried states as necessary to eventually achieve the perfect peaceful holiday is a flawed idea. On a practical level, the “end” or that “perfect” peaceful day doesn’t really exist, at least not in an external reality. No matter how much we prepare, there will always be something to think about, more to do, or, often, an unexpected glitch. It’s important to recognize what matters is the present moment. Our sense of peace comes from within. How we experience the means or the process is our life and, therefore, is our holiday.

We each have the opportunity to be in the holiday spirit in every moment, whether we’re wrapping presents, sitting around the tree with family, in line at the grocery, or driving in holiday traffic—it is all the same. We may practice peace, celebrate, and enjoy the miracle in each of these ordinary moments rather than sacrifice or be stressed out in hopes of some future return.

How we are with ourselves and others leading up to the holiday celebrations is as important, if not more than, the perfect gift, precisely wrapped presents, the ideal meal, etc.

You are the holiday greeting, the message, and the gift, so be peaceful, joyful, and loving.

Five Quick and Easy Practices to Help Bring You Into the Present Moment:

1. Set an Intention: Write down the quality or qualities you want to experience and embody this holiday season.

2. Simplify: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and only take on what you know you will enjoy.

3. Breathe: Take a few moments to breathe deeply.

4. Connect to Nature: Take a break by going for a walk in a beautiful place.

5. Find Perspective and Feel Gratitude: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and be grateful for all you do have. If you’re really struggling, sit down and write a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life.

Sisters Laura and Alison Forbes are authors, speakers, bloggers, consultants, and co-founders of the home and lifestyle company Inspired Everyday Living. They write and speak about personal development through the home and believe that our homes are connected to all aspects of our well-being and influence all parts of our lives. Therefore, when you change your home, you change your life. They are the authors of The Peaceful Nursery: Preparing a Home for Your Baby and have recently developed three iPhone apps: Easy Feng Shui, Feng Shui for Love, and, as a companion to their book, The Peaceful Nursery App. To learn more about Laura and Alison, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.