Welcome to our weekly Five Minute Friday blog link-up!

Each week we gather around a single word prompt and freewrite for five minutes flat. If you’re new, you can learn more about the link-up here.

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This week’s FMF writing prompt is: PRESENT




Setting my timer for five minutes, and . . . GO.

My kids were born in South Africa, and for the first several years of their lives, they had no idea what a Christmas list was. They didn’t have a concept of making a list of things they wanted, then asking for them. It wasn’t until my sister, who lives in America, asked them what was on their Christmas list that they began to consider making such a wish list.

The concept is still somewhat foreign to my husband, who was also born in South Africa. In his culture and upbringing, gifts were not a prominent feature of birthdays or holidays. And if a person did receive a gift, it certainly wasn’t because they had asked for it. They had no expectations of receiving anything. They simply received any gifts they were offered with gratitude. And if they didn’t get a gift, they didn’t complain.

Instead of material gifts, physical presence is a big deal in my husband’s extended family. Togetherness. They sit together on plastic chairs in the heat of December, drinking from two-liter bottles of Coke and laughing about stories new and old. They relish each other’s presence, lingering long into the night, talking and telling jokes under the African stars.

As I get older (and particularly during this year of social distancing and staying home), I’ve come to appreciate the gift of presence even more than I did before. Material things will come and go, but relationships have lasting value.




Speaking of Christmas wish lists . . . 😉


Perfect Gifts for Writers: Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

gifts for writers


Which item(s) would you add to this list



Join us for a five-minute freewrite on the writing prompt, PRESENT, then visit your link-up neighbor to read their post and leave an encouraging comment: 

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