What is the Christmas that you remember best? When I was a child, our local newspaper, the Deseret News, held a writing contest themed, “The Christmas I Remember Best.” It happened multiple years and I remember pouring over the memories. I loved reading how other families celebrated the holidays, including their favorite holiday traditions. One year I even submitted my own essay about my favorite Christmas. I’ll have to dig that out of my memory box sometime!
My heart embraces the nostalgia of these Christmas memories and I’m increasingly recognizing the importance of writing them down. Our memories may fade with time, but the written word and photographs can make it seem like things were just yesterday. Additionally, what is common knowledge to us may be something new to another family member. I invite you to share a favorite Christmas memory/tradition on social media this holiday season and encourage your family members to do the same.
What are my favorite Christmas memories? Many of them revolve around music. I randomly remember that my Great-Grandma Ada’s favorite Christmas carol was Silver Bells and I think of her every time I hear it. Hearing Christmas hymns at church reminds me of my Grandma Kimball at the organ. I loved waking up in December to the sound of her playing Christmas favorites on the organ as she practiced for Sunday. Just this Sunday I was transported back to my childhood as I watched my 9-year-old and 3-year-old practice the words to “Picture a Christmas” via their singing time Zoom call. I remember surrounding the piano with my siblings practicing for our Christmas eve nativity program.
These memories are priceless because they connect me to generations past during the holiday season. My ancestors are a part of me, they are a part of my children. The common thread with the songs is that they are tied to memories of my loved ones. That is what makes them so special. As we go through this holiday season, embrace the traditions that bring your family closer together and remember – write them down for future generations!