Making New Memories

Dear Friends,

You know that we cannot change the way we were raised. We may have been sheltered in our childhood or we might have been to the school of hard knocks. Either way all we can do is accept it and get on with the living of our lives.

The holidays bring up lots of good and bad memories. We do not have time to wallow in either one. Sometimes the good memories can make us feel bad about where we are right now. The bad memories can keep us from enjoying the blessings we have today. It is time to let go of them and make new memories for our family.

Christmas is hard missing people who are no longer in our lives. They would not want us to be sad. So it is up to us to celebrate their lives with happy thoughts; not the sad ones. A dear friend lost her mother in August. She has two young children. I know she misses her mom. I am watching her process the grief as well as celebrate her mom’s life.

I have seen her wear her mom’s clothes and playfully wear her mom’s costume jewelry. In her own way she is keeping her mom’s uniqueness alive. There is a custom in some religions to leave a place at the table for departed loved ones. My feeling is they are with us, so talk to them. Tell them they are missed and thank them.

One thing you can do is place an ornament on your tree to remember them. Sort of like your family tree becomes part of your Christmas Tree. After all; none of us would be here if they had not lived. You could also do something nice in their name. Even if they were not very nice; you can still pray for them.

Let’s come up with ways to turn the negative things we remember from our childhoods into ways to bless others.

I remember lots of yelling and screaming. I am determined to show the world that we can have beautiful celebrations without being loud. Things still get done. We set the tone for our home.

I remember not having Christmas one year because we were on the road. We didn’t have a tree that year. I guess as I look back that may have been a blessing. No big ugly Christmas tree with lots of yelling. Do you see what I just did? I found something good about not having a Christmas tree. I put up a tree even if it is just a potted shrub in the window.

I remember not having a lot of food in the house. So instead of gifts we like to adopt families. We make sure they have what they need. That is the best part of Christmas for me.

One of my good memories was the grab boxes we used to get from Granny. Many people would call them stocking stuffers but she would put lots of little things in a box: hair brush, socks, combs, barrettes, ribbons, stockings, gloves, scarves, chapstick, lotion and anything she thought we needed. Evidently she thought our hair needed to be fixed, now that I look back on it. She was giving us the tools to do our own hair. I can laugh about this now. She would give us bobbie pins and sponge rollers. I guess four little girls had ratty hair.

There is joy and sadness in our lives. I choose joy! We may not be able to change the past but we can make a new memory in place of it. Let go of those bad memories and set a tone of happiness in your home. After all; only you can make this choice. Practice smiling and speaking in a quiet way. Put on holiday movies and beautiful Christmas Carols. Put on a funny hat or rein deer antlers. Sing and make joyful noise in celebration of Christ’s birth.

Keep in mind, it is not about the gift but the giving. When you continually give you will continually have. Give yourself peace and joy this Christmas and set this example in love.

Are you ready to FLY with a smile on your face and a song on your lips?


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