Christmas is my favorite time of year. Sounds super cliché… I know.
Some of my fondest memories were around Christmas and even then surprisingly it wasn’t because of the gifts. We didn’t come from much money anyways, working class parents I’ll admit that were merely making ends meet for most of my life. However, for some strange reason, no matter how broke we honestly were, I never needed for anything and the amount of love my family has is priceless. I remember pondering over why in the world friends would want to come to MY house in one of the poorest neighborhoods in St. Louis just to play “church” in a cold, unfinished basement that offered dark corners and numerous spider webs. Beats me, but every Sunday there would ALWAYS be an extra mouth to feed and we would have to grab extra chairs to the table for Sunday dinner.
Yes, Sunday dinner! People still do that. Matter of fact we do every Sunday at my mom and dad’s newly built house (But God-we finally moved on up to the WEST side!). It’s a lost tradition that at one point was THEE standard. Families ate together, fellowshipped, talked about their day, argued, cried, prayed…loved. Seems like nowadays it’s rare having dinner as a family, or let alone spending any quality time with one another. Charge it to life period. I get it. We all get busy with our own careers, school, friends, hobbies, extra-curricular activities. Let’s not even mention the convenient distraction of social media. There is just way too many “other” important things besides spending time with family. Plus, we live with them anyways. That should be enough right?!
Sunday, the day before Christmas, I sat on my parents couch and admired the tree. Our “hood” tree as I like to call it filled with random ornaments my mom bought over the years as well as ones that we made as kids. It never really had a true color scheme unless we just called it “rainbow.” Lol. But somehow, no matter how “busy” it looked there still seemed to be a great deal of beauty in the tree. It was the feeling inside my heart that I got when reminiscing how we would sing to the tunes of “Sounds of Blackness” while putting up the ornaments. Or how I’d get tickled every year when my mom would fuss about the lights she bought just the year before that were no longer working. “Come on now mom,” I’d reply, “we DID get them from Dollar Tree.” lol
That’s when I realized it’s the memories that came along with the Christmas tree that made it so special. As, I looked at each ornament, I recalled a special memory associated with each one. Some more precious than others. Many of the ornaments were glass while others were rubber balls. Each one of them held an equal amount of importance in my family’s life, however, the glass balls required that we take extra care when handling them because if broken weren’t able to be replaced. Unlike the rubber balls, that when dropped, could easily be picked back up and used at a later time.
When I think of the glass balls and rubber balls on the Christmas tree I am reminded of where our priorities lie. What is most important to us? Does this person/thing in your life require to be treated like a glass ball, never allowing for it to drop and crack/crumble? What are some of your “rubber balls” that hold importance in your life, yet are able to be placed on a back burner to your most important priorities if need be?
As crazy as it sounds we have to have reality checks with ourselves on a daily basis especially knowing that life isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, your “responsibility plate” is only going to get larger and larger the older we get. It’s imperative that we proactively take time for the glass balls most important to us and relish in those moments that they bring to our lives be it family, friends, etc.
There’s only one thing more precious than our time & that’s who we spend it on.