You know that I’m convinced relationships are simply memories strung together. The strongest bonds are the ones with the strongest memories. And if you know me, you also know Christmas season is the hardest part of my year. Maybe because on Christmas night when I was ten, I ran away from home…and never went back. Anyway, I’m so exhausted by the painful memories that for decades now, I’ve tried my best to overlay new memories on top of old ones. It’s how the brain works…you recreate and recall new memories over old ones. The more you think about and talk about the good times, the deeper rutted your good times become neurologically.
So here are three memories I believe everyone can and should have stored in their brains and in their hearts:
1) Make some magic. The dictionary says magic is “wonderful” and “exciting.” Sure, it can require elements of supernatural, but what’s faith if it’s not supernatural?
I think it’s magic when a chef can take sugar, butter, eggs, flour and food coloring and turns those things into cookies and candies and holiday delights.
I think it’s magic when you can toss a blanket over a card table and turn it into a fort.
I think it’s magic when you contort your fingers in front of a light and make puppets on the wall.
The photo is of my g-baby Adelaide. She wanted snow for Christmas. Problem is Adelaide lives in Florida, so I did a little magic in Photoshop and gave her snow. No. It’s not a convincing job because I’m not so gifted in Photoshop, but it’s a labor of love, and it might just confuse her as well as delight her. That’s magic.
2) Give until it hurts. By that I’m asking that you give of yourself. Your time is your most valuable asset. When you stop to listen to someone, you give of yourself. When you put your phone down and don’t divide your attention, that’s rare and precious. Go somewhere together. Sit besides a fire. Walk. Hike. Shop. Sing. Dance. Do whatever you like to do, but do it together. Don’t think of it as spending your time, think of it as investing your time.
And if you’re in the mood to give something material away, give something away that you cherish. A clothing item. A piece of jewelry. Art. A dish. In order to be a true sacrifice, it has to hurt at least a little to part with it. Give something you love to someone you love.
3) Get to know Christ a little better. This means you’re going to have to invest in a relationship with the Reason for the season. I have a friend who is not Christian, but she loves Jesus because the things He taught, the way He lived, make her a better person when she tries to walk in His footsteps. She quotes Jesus. She tells stories about Him. She spends time in December reading His words and listening to His teachings.
I love that idea, and I love my friend for loving my Savior.
Whoever or whatever your god is, I hope that you’ll draw closer this season.
Just imagine if a week from now you say, “I’ve made some magic, renewed a friendship, and feel closer to my Creator.”
Three memories worth making to make Christmas truly meaningful. And I think the Grinch was right, “Christmas, perhaps, doesn’t come from a store. Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.”