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What Really Matters at Christmas

As the holidays approach, there are sales circulars and commercials telling us what we need to buy, how much we need to spend, and how much we can save if we buy it. Advertisers are also trying to convince us that if we buy what they are selling, our loved ones will know just how much we care. Don’t believe the hype!

I can remember flipping through the Sears catalog when I was young and dog-earring all the pages that contained the things that I just had to have each year. Those were the items that I knew would add to my life and make me happy. I honestly can’t tell you now if I got any of those things. There are very few gifts that I got when I was young that I can recall receiving now.

The memories I do have are about holidays spent at my grandmother's house. Her apartment was always filled with characters that she called friends. They were the most glamorous people I ever saw although most of them were dayworkers for wealthy people. They would arrive dressed in fine furs and fancy suits and you couldn’t tell me that they weren’t rich.

They were wealthy because they loved me so well; they made me feel like a princess. The men had hardy laughs and deep singing voices. The ladies smoked cigarettes from long, golden cigarette holders, wore fancy jewelry, and always smelled like expensive perfume. They danced and swayed to the music and everyone seemed to be having such a good time. The music played, the food was plentiful, and everything I did seemed to bring them such joy.

Holidays were filled with the sound of love because everyone got along from early in the morning until late at night and I wished those days could have lasted forever. I don’t remember toys and gifts, but I remember the presence of loved ones. I’d give anything to go back to those days right now and to those people.

Thank God for memories. Gifts can break, rust, and decay but my memories will always be with me. Don’t go bankrupt buying things that won’t last. Instead create memories that will never fade. What people really want most is your time and presence.


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