I think I first heard the phrase, people over things, used by Suze Orman on a t.v. show talking about finances. It came to me again recently during the holiday season after the gifts had been unwrapped. As I say surrounded by emptied sacks and boxes, torn paper and discarded bows, I realized that while I was grateful for the gift of things that were piled around me, I truly would not have been sad if I had not received even one wrapped present this year.
What mattered the most to me were the people whose presence filled my heart this holiday season, not the gifts that filled the space under the tree. The friend get togethers where we bemoaned the busyness of the season, the neighbors that stopped by to admire the lights that twinkled on our house or called out a “Merry Christmas” as they waved a greeting, the Christmas Eve dinner table surrounded by my family origin and my family of the heart and the cards that overflowed from the basket on the hearth updating us on how people we knew had spent their year.
Most of all, the gift I cherished most was the feeling of gratitude from a Christmas spent with my 86 year old mother, our last surviving parent, and our only daughter, home for a short visit from Seattle where she has established a career and a new home base far from her roots. I am all too aware that their much loved presence is not guaranteed at future Christmases, and that makes this year’s celebration all the more special.
People over things. This phrase holds even more meaning for me as I get older. Suze Orman was talking about money when she used the phrase, but I think the meaning of people over things means a different kind of currency.
People hold heart value, and that is the most valuable currency of all.