Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making Holiday Memories

Making Holiday Memories
LoRee Peery

Wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, how do others see you? Do they see harried grouchiness or joy in our Lord’s birthday celebration?

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,” (Prov. 15:13). That’s what our faces should reflect as we go about the busyness of the holiday season.
Looking Back
Nostalgia goes hand in hand with holiday happenings. Taking a trip back in time, I remember my mother telling us how fortunate we were at Christmas time. Her gifts were necessary homemade clothing and maybe, an orange.

One of my favorite memories is the wonderful school plays given in a one-room country schoolhouse. Blankets were strung on wire for stage curtains, the teacher sat on a bench with script in hand (no one sat close to the oil-burning stove in the center of the room), and after the play, an ancient Santa wearing a seamed face and lots of padding, rang out in his jolly bass, “Ho, ho, ho, M-e-r-r-y Christmas!” His voice resounded through the room as we waited to taste the delightful goodies he carried in that gunnysack slung over his shoulder: hard candy, nuts, chocolate-covered mints we called “haystacks,” an orange and an apple. Mmmm.

Christmas Eve was our Sunday school program and we were allowed to open one gift before we left for church. That was a necessary surprise we needed to wear.

Our trees were always spindly, sparsely branched cedars cut from the pasture or shelterbelt. We kids loved throwing on icicles to cover up the holes between branches. With so many small helpful hands involved, the glass baubles grew fewer each year.

My father’s parents made it a Mosel tradition to have oyster stew after church on Christmas Eve. That’s one I carried on, until my sons-in-law fessed up to not liking it. So we have a couple different soups now, and my husband and I eat oyster stew on New Year’s Eve.
Memories, Memories, Memories
What are you leaving as memories for your loved ones? You can (and should) build memories for your children and grandchildren. As soon as my kids were big enough to stand on a bench, they helped roll out and decorate sugar cookies.
After being away from home a few years, I asked my adult children what they remember about getting ready for Christmas.  I heard singing, buying presents, baking cookies, making decorations, the tree, and our living room. When they were small, that room was a Victorian parlor depicting the era. The kids would descend the stairs in wide-eyed wonder.

Traditions create memories and bind families. They vary from a birthday cake to Jesus and reading the Christmas story from Luke, Chapter Two, crazy gift-giving games or drawing names for handmade gifts, saving Christmas cards and praying for the sender through the year, or even starting the next year’s gifts by shopping the day after Christmas.

Whatever your memories, savor them because life is short and changing faster than we can voice an opinion. Take time to make new memories. Love one another, and may I challenge you to leave a legacy of joy.



  1. It's always a treat to be here. I wish you all a most blessed Christmas.

  2. Love your reminiscences. Sounds lovely. Got tickled at your sons-in-law confessing not liking your oyster stew. Same thing happened to me with my egg rolls. A blessed Christmas to you.

  3. Enjoyed reading your memories. I recall with a laugh the year my mother nailed the Christmas tree to the floor because it wouldn't stand up straight! Blessings to you.

  4. Ho LoRee, a couple of my favorite memories are being an angel in our school's Christmas pageant on Christmas eve (fourth grade) and even before that, I must have been four...my dad built the manger for the pageant at my older brother's school. For a few days before Christmas Eve, my doll got to sleep in it, and I was so heartbroken when he donated it to the school, he used some of the wood to build me a teensie rocking cradle. I still have it.

    Merry Christmas to you and thanks for the memories today.

  5. Lovely post, LoRee! Such wonderful memories. I clearly remember our stockings stuffed with oranges, apples, nuts and candy. And we were thrilled to get them. Now, my daughters and I have a baking day, and we all make our favorite candy and/or cookies. The whole family pitches in to ice the sugar cookies and decorate them with sprinkles and such. That, to me, is what defines Christmas - family and friends being together and sharing their love for each other.

  6. Thank you for sharing Jody, Davalyn, Tanya, and Delia.
    Looks like we are about to get snowed in. I love those memories almost as much as Christmas.

  7. Hi, LoRee! What a wonderful, heart-filled post! I love your Christmas memories! Without question, in the Evans household, the Christmas magic maker is when we gather in the kitchen to create, bake and decorate our traditional sugar cookies, cut out in the shapes of Santa, an ornament and a Christmas tree. Such laughter and fun... God bless you, my friend, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Marianne. Children do make Christmas brighter, don't they?