What Really Matters

too-many-people-spend-money-they-didnt-earn-on-things-they-dont-want-to-impress-people-they-dont-likeThis quote was in my mind earlier today, and it really got me thinking about how incredibly blessed I am.

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s so easy to get swept up in all the madness. I admit that I’m just as guilty as the next person. But this year I’ve noticed that while I’ve gotten some of my Christmas shopping done, the gifts aren’t what I’m most excited about. What I’m really looking forward to is a surprise to me. I’m looking forward to Christmas parties and being with family and friends.

That’s never been the case before. In fact, it’s been more of the opposite. Holiday gatherings, big and small have brought me so much anxiety. I’m no fan of white elephant parties, and ugly sweater parties make me self conscious. I don’t enjoy small talk with co-workers spouses, and I’m usually the girl checking her watch to see if I’ve spent an appropriate amount of time at a function so I can discreetly duck out.

Last night I went to bed feeling so fulfilled. I reviewed the past few days which were packed with generous friends who shared Thanksgiving meals with me, a meaningful walk through places I’ve never explored before, giggles and gasps at the movie theater, and prayer time that left me with a fulfilled heart and full stomach.

A friend of mine recently observed that I express love through giving gifts, and while I never thought of it as my love language, I realized he was right. I do like giving people tokens and watching their reactions as they open them. But as I look over the past few days, I realize that I have loved giving people the gift of my time.

On the contrary, I’ve seen people working day in and day out, bringing in lots of money, yes. But I wonder if their sacrifice of time with loved ones so they can burrow in their offices is really worth it. I’d take a modest job with modest pay any day if it means I can spend more time with people I care about.

I think it’s something I want to keep in mind over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. Why am I in the office? Would I rather spend money or time? And most importantly, who is this season really about?

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