It’s That Time of Year to Be Thankful and Remember

It's That Time of Year to Be Thankful and Remember

If Christmas lights a spark for my grandchildren, inspires them to dream of the future and desire the shiny-new and surprising—for me, Christmas is the vehicle of memory. As soon as I open the first carton that stores my ornaments and Christmas decorations, a door to the past opens. Memories explode from the carton that holds the stockings with my children’s names, the Jack-in-the-Box that goes under the tree, and of course, the ornaments. I’ll anticipate unwrapping the fragile blue doll given to me when I was pregnant, the ballet slippers celebrating Christie’s love of dance, the tiny piano with Carrie’s name, and the many ornaments welcoming our son, now taller than most Christmas trees.

This is the season of wonder, one that illuminates memory. A single ornament holds thoughts of the person who gifted it, the tree where it was displayed or possibly a full-blown picture of the living room that it graced in years past. Memories abound this time of year. 

And though the season pulls us in many directions, we are making memories—an amazing and wonderful thing. When I find a quiet moment, I want to breathe in the scent of paperwhites, enjoy the sparkle of lights and ornaments and read Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales. I’m looking back but also making new memories. What will you do to capture the essence of these days, these moments? Wouldn’t it be amazing if all of us could once again capture elements of child-like eagerness? That would be a perfect gift.

Music certainly is part of the memories of Christmas. Do you have a song for the season that brings you joy or makes you cry when you hear it? If it’s a shining moment in your past, it’s probably a wonderful idea to share it again. And if you put up a real Christmas tree, there might be in your family as there is in mine, that family argument. I really wanted a Scotch Pine. No, you liked the Balsam, I remember!

Each event has the power to become a shining ornament on the family tree. Each event increases the gift of love in our families. Christmas or whatever you celebrate this time of year is about love and giving, the amazing experience of family, the celebration of times when we were close and enjoyed being together. I sincerely hope those experiences for all of you reading this. 

Then when the season ends, the tree comes down, those reminders of the past are put away, we might notice a change in family members, especially children. Where before they were peering into the future, excited and bright-eyed, now we might notice they are slightly sad or mopey. We might ask why has the spark dimmed? We mumble to ourselves: We’ve had such a wonderful time, why these low moments? 

It’s truly okay. Children, all of us, are forming memories. Young or old, we experience nostalgia, a feeling defined as pleasure and sadness, caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again. What a great thing, to honor our experience of Christmas by forming memories.

Each of us carries in our hearts hundreds of memories that help build our traditions. We preserve the gift of memories that are endlessly fervent, spiritual and uplifting. We form families that are vastly different, and how amazing and perfect that is. Ebenezer Scrooge said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” Wishing you peace and love, Beth .

Thanks to Pinterest for the Art Work.

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