With the Christmas season fast approaching, sometimes us women get caught up with busyness. Our plates are full and our jobs seem endless sometimes. It seems like there is always something that needs to be done and sometimes we feel like our work never ends! But, sometimes it’s okay to overlook the mess and take advantage of those opportune moments to connect with our family.
What are your favourite Christmas memories? What do you love most about the holidays? What treasured memories have you created with your family?
What are some ways that we can take advantage of the Christmas season to connect with our families, creating lasting memories.
Embrace your family. Not every family is the same, maybe you are just starting out and it’s just you and your spouse, maybe you are a single mom, maybe you have children with challenges, maybe you have young children, or maybe your children are teenagers, or maybe you are experiencing the empty nest.
No matter what your family structure is, embrace it. See it for what it is and become determined to make memories with them. Don’t wait for the perfect moment or time. Don’t think, ‘I’ll just wait until we have children, or we need to wait until the children are older, or’……. You will never find the perfect time. The time is now! It’s starts with just you and your husband as you are beginning life together. It starts now with a house full of little ones. Don’t compare your family to others, but embrace your family as they are now and find ways to celebrate them and make memories with them.
ENJOY your family!
Enjoy YOUR family!
Enjoy your FAMILY!
Did you catch that?
Look for things that you like about them, embrace it, and enjoy! Don’t take life too seriously, relax and breathe in the moments of life. Learn to appreciate the uniqueness that each family member contributes. Sometimes it means setting aside what we think needs to be done, and just embrace the moment. With that in mind, when you think of each family member, what is one of the first things that come to your mind?
Focus on the Important Things
I love listening to my family tell stories. ‘Remember when’…….. How are these ‘remember when’ moments created? They often don’t ‘just happen,’ sometimes they do and those are beautiful moments to be treasured and remembered. But often, it requires us to be flexible in our schedules, to embrace little moments when they arise, to be willing to set aside my plans to enjoy those moments. In our increasingly busy lives, we must remember to carve out quality time for our families.
One of my treasured memories is when we would travel late into the night and my son would get talkative. He was in his teenage years and those were not his most commutative years, he would lean forward in his seat, hanging over my shoulder or his father’s to get closer and he became engaged. He would animatedly talk for hours!
When we travelled, I got to experience another side of him. The rest of the vehicle would be sleeping and quiet and he would begin to talk. (Maybe he finally felt free to do so, because no one else was talking!)
Now, those of you who have travelled anywhere with me know that I don’t really want to drive, it’s not that I can’t or don’t like it…….no, it is purely selfish reasons…..I like to sleep! I will put my ear buds in to tune out the noise, put on a movie or music, and then I am gone within a few minutes to be woken up at our next stop. David on the other hand, loves to drive, so we are well matched!
Now back to my story. I learned to treasure those times with my son. I found out what he was thinking about things, friends, things that were going on in his life, and his opinion about matters. It allowed him to express himself during a season that was maybe hard for him to do so. It allowed us to hear his heart and speak into his life. This is a special memory for David and I. Was this a planned event? No. Did I have to adjust what I wanted to do or my routine? Absolutely!
My point in this story is that sometimes it is good to take a deep breath, pay attention to what is happening right in front of us, adjust ourselves and embrace the moment and create a new memory!
Often the times of prime connection do not present themselves when we are finished our jobs, when we are rested and have nothing else to do!
Make some memories.
The holidays create a unique environment for creating treasured memories and traditions. Some memories and traditions are crafted from careful planning, and others are birthed out of things that are not so magical!
Like many families, we have a Christmas pajama tradition. Now I wish I could tell you it started out as some great ‘memory building idea’ but truth be told this tradition began in our family because when we were young and our children were little money was very tight. It was so tight that I remember wondering how we were going to make ends meet each month because there seemed to be more going out than coming in. But God was always there, He was faithful and He met our needs. We always ate, we always paid our mortgage, and no one was running around naked! Because of this, we didn’t have a ‘clothing budget’; we were just trying to survive every month! The only time we bought pajamas for the children was at Christmas!
As much as I wish I could say that I had thought of this great plan to build memories and make a tradition, I can’t. The real reason behind the Christmas Eve pajamas is a much more vain one! I wanted the children to be in new pajamas so that our pictures wouldn’t be of children in pajamas that were too short, full of holes, or miss-matched (because you know after they wear them once it is very rare to see the top and bottoms matching again!)
This is how our Christmas pajama tradition began, by a mother who couldn’t buy pajamas for her kids during the year and vainly wanted them to look good in the Christmas pictures!
But what began as my craziness, has turned into a beautiful tradition of coming home from Oma and Opa’s, sitting down with cups of tea (it used to be hot chocolate and marshmallows), opening their pajamas and slippers and posing for our annual Christmas Eve pajama picture. (Which is usually a gong show of laughter, howling and tomfoolery!)
Now our children are grown and my need for perfect Christmas morning photos has waned (it’s still there, just a little!). My husband and I tried to bring it to an end, but the children……well let’s just say, the tradition lives on! (The above photo is from 2010.)
What was birthed many years ago has turned into a beautiful tradition that everyone enjoys and no one wants to give up.
So this Christmas season as you are celebrating our Lord’s birth, embrace and enjoy your family. Find ways, intentional or unintentional, to create fun and lasting memories. Breathe deep, lay aside the busyness and enjoy your family!
Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas season!