UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!
For many, November marks the beginning of the holiday season… for better or for worse. I believe most people would agree that the holidays are very polarizing. For a great number of people, it is a time of joy. They tend to get into a tizzy grocery shopping, cooking, decorating, and whipping up holiday delights in the kitchen (or at the bar). This time of year is often one of reflection, being thankful for our many blessings, and extending kindness and generosity to those less fortunate.
For others, the holidays may be a struggle emotionally, financially, or both. It is a time of great sadness and anxiety. Although they outwardly may put on a stoic smile and brave front, they may be fighting many internal demons and turmoil. Sometimes, their distress is a result of not having the financial means to provide gifts for their families and loved ones. Seeing the commercialization of the holidays is hard to ignore. Not having the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter may be accentuated with media images of people who have an abundance of these things. It may be difficult to see blessings when one has so little. Still, for others, their depression may stem from loneliness—not having family or friends to spend time together.
The Bible verse Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (which was popularized in The Byrds’ 1965 song Turn! Turn! Turn!) states, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The holidays should be a season of joy, but for the ones who it is a season of misery, it should be an objective for others to bring some type of peace or, at least, make the attempt.
What does any of this have to do with memory keeping? Regardless of what the holiday brings, many people are so caught up in the moment and rushing that they fail to give it the proper attention that stores it as a memory. Think back. How many Thanksgivings and Christmases (Hanukkahs, Kwanzaas, etc.) do you remember? Who was present at each? What gifts did you receive and give? What did you eat? What did the decorations look like? When pondering these questions, many people will have some answers but not all. Some people will recall more memories, and some memories may be more vivid than others. When holidays become a struggle, may be difficult to remember a time when they weren’t. Memory keeping during the holidays is a way to preserve the good season and a reason to search for any good in seasons not so joyous.
So, what are some ways to memory keep?
- Photos/videos. This is likely the most obvious and is self-explanatory.
- Scrapbooking. Again, this is self-explanatory.
- Journaling. This is a very inexpensive and effective way to keep holiday document holiday memories.
- Keepsakes. There is no minimum or maximum number of keepsakes that one may elect to collect. And the best feature about keepsakes is that they could be anything. A friend kept the label from a bottle of wine that was used to make a toast. Another friend made a blanket from the matching Christmas pajamas she and her family had worn throughout the years. Another friend has an album of received holiday cards.
- Time capsules. Before packing everything away to store for another year, take an item that holds a special memory from each year and store them together. A common item would be a Christmas ornament, but it doesn’t have to be. When her youngest child turned eighteen, a coworker decided that she was done decorating for Christmas. She donated her tree and all the ornaments. Thus, having ornaments in a time capsule for her wouldn’t serve much of a purpose.
- Music playlist. Create a playlist of songs that will remind you of the Christmas cheer.
- This one is dear to my heart. Each Christmas, my father used to bake “fruit cakes” from scratch for family members. I use the term “fruit cake” loosely because many of them didn’t contain any fruit and the ones that did were nothing like those horrid things sold in the grocery stores. Without getting into an extended explanation, these cakes were a great delight to family members and brought about many laughs (e.g., cake stealing/ cake wars). Each cake was different—the ingredients depended on the receiver. Once he passed away, this tradition ended. The first Christmas without him, I made a few cakes following his top-secret recipe. (One year, he’d suffered a broken leg from a freak accident and couldn’t stand for long periods of time. As a result, he drafted his youngest—me—to help him make the cakes. And that is how the recipe was passed to me.) However, without him, it wasn’t the same, and the cakes didn’t bring about the joy that they once had. Yet, I missed this tradition. Some years later, my daughter who was a Harry Potter fan wanted to have butter beer on Christmas Eve while we snuggled and watched holiday movies. Well… when I tell you I managed to concoct one of the nastiest “potions” ever tasted, it’s not an understatement. I don’t know what went wrong. The next year, I attempted to redeem myself with a different butter beer recipe and managed to somehow render something even fouler. It’s now become a tradition of trying new recipes each year—not just for butter beer but for cookies, candies, punches, and pies. We write them on the front of recipe cards. On the back, we write our opinion and give it a rating. Now, we could easily store these on a computer, but we elect to handwrite them because one day we each will pass away. The ones left behind will have that handwritten memory.
That does it. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on the Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
Get ready. It’s almost time to hit the ice again. Future Goals Coming soon.
When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.
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Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.
Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.
Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.
Penalty Kill (book #4) takes the ice again. Get a copy at https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p or https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p and let the pucker begin.
***CONTEST & GIVEAWAY***
Would you like a FREE mystery stationary gift? It’s simple. Leave a comment telling me what how you plan to memory keep this holiday season or your favorite holiday memory. It’s that easy. A winner will be selected at random. Contest will remain open until 11/25/22 at 12:00 AM CST.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.
I love pictures! Every holiday or vacation I am always snapping pictures. I have over 1,000 on my phone now that I need to print out.
Definitely a few pics
One memory for me that stands out is when my parents sent me a plane ticket to come home for the holidays. Not something I could afford at the time.
I love pictures as well. My daughter does a calendar with pictures from the year before.
I’ve been going thru things in my house to try to weed things out & downsize – my family has been here for over 60 year and lots came from my grandparents so there’s a lot to get thru. There’s lots of papers and pictures that I’ll have to figure out how to organize & maybe write down some stories about things like one of my grandfathers shaving mugs.
My favorite holiday memories are of Christmas day at my parents house where my dad would help my mom cook a fancy breakfast for our whole family (this was after we kids were all grown and out of the house). It was such a special time. We kept the tradition going for many years, even after my dad passed away at a young 69 years old.