Did you know that one of the easiest ways to warm-up your heart and enrich your holiday spirit is to relive your favorite Christmas memories?
A quick trip down memory lane can relax and revive you.
If your holiday memories are not happy ones, use your personal memory lane to inspire you to find ways to light-up other folks’ lives, which can make you feel better, as well! You have more power and so many more opportunities than you may realize to brighten someone’s day.
A smile, a compliment, a card or a call are easy to do and are for the most part are cost free. Giving-up a prime parking space to the car behind you, paying for the order of the next person in line, or passing out extra big hugs to your spouse or significant other are all ways to make someone’s holiday brighter. There are thousands of other ways to celebrate the season, and each one can help you focus on what is most important to you this Christmas, and for all your Christmases to come.
Here are my top ten holiday memories. Reliving them made me feel warm and cozy, and I realized how many more I have to enjoy.
- Getting an Easy Bake oven one Christmas and going into Mom and Dad’s bedroom first thing the next morning with the teeny tiny muffins I baked and them “oohing and ahhing” over them.
- Squinting at the Christmas tree in the living room so the lights would blur, which I truly thought was magical.
- Finding a way to buy Christmas gifts for my eight siblings, my Mom and Dad and the growing number of brother-in-laws and nieces and nephews. There was so much joy in those decisions and in the giving.
- Finding a sky-blue crocheted, short sleeved dress in my Mom’s bottom dresser drawer on our annual pre-Christmas present hunt, and hoping it was for me. My just older sister and I ended-up sharing that dress for years. I think I wore it to a 7th grade dance and loved it!
- My Mom and Dad always made Christmas morning seem gift-filled even though they were buying for nine kids on a very tight budget.
- One year we arranged for my same older sister’s boyfriend to play Santa for our two youngest siblings. A few hours after they were tucked into their beds, we woke them up to see “Santa” opening his pack in the sparkling light of the Christmas tree, which was reflected in our living room picture window. I recall this scene clearly, and can still feel their sense of excitement of seeing “Santa”.
- I bought my Mom a burnt-orange polyester pantsuit with a jaunty striped, short scarf that tied off to the side like those fancy French ladies! I purchased this fashion forward outfit – pantsuits and polyester were all the range that year – with my 30% discount from my job at Petries, a retail shop for teens and women. Having enough money to do something special for my Mom felt so good.
- As our family grew with many of us starting families of our own, my Mom decided to change the date we gathered at my parents’ home for the holidays. We descended en masse on my Mom’s birthday, December 26. I always thought it was amazingly kind of her to cook and clean for everyone on her birthday. Mom said it was worth it to have us all together. Turns out, she knew best. She kept us in touch with one another as we shared her wonderful food and the sides and cookies we brought. Forty years later, we are still finding ways to share our homes, our lives and delicious foods.
- The joy of seeing everyone’s gifts and what seemed like tons of wrapping paper strewn across our living room floor. It made the gifts seem more plentiful and so festive.
- Baking and eating so many sweet treats. My Mom’s cookies were the best, especially the Butter Balls!
Now, compile your list. Then enjoy reliving the moments. And, remember, if sad memories top your list, spend time this holiday season creating better ones for you and others.
Please share some of your favorite memories in the comments section below. Reading them will make us all happy!
Happy holidays to you!