Over the weekend I watched a movie called Three Days. Briefly, the movie was about a couple who had a fight on Christmas Eve, and then the wife was killed in an accident. An angel visited the husband and gave him three more days with his wife. He had three days to convince her that he loved her. And he knew she would die in three days.

What if you knew a loved one would die in three days? I know that’s a depressing thought. My husband and I were there last year, though. No, we didn’t know exactly when my father-in-law would pass away. But we knew his time was short. And I have to tell you, during that time, money didn’t matter. Things didn’t matter. Time mattered. A lot.

My goal this holiday season is to focus on the people I love, not stuff. If I knew I only had three days left with a loved one, the number of presents under the tree wouldn’t matter. The amount of money I spent on the presents wouldn’t matter. Whether our house is perfectly decked out for the holidays wouldn’t matter.

What matters is the time spent together. I’m going to make cookies and candy, and my kids are going to help. Instead of rushing through the job, we’re going to enjoy baking together. And if my cookies don’t look perfect, so be it. My kids and I will have a good memory that will last much longer than the cookies.

Twenty years down the line my kids probably won’t remember what they received this particular Christmas. What they will remember is whether our family was happy or whether we bickered a lot. Whether our holidays were happy, or whether we rushed through them.

This holiday season I encourage you all to think about what’s important. If you only had three days left, what would you want your family to remember?

Photo by Vanessa Fitzgerald.