Is there an event around which more memories are centered than Christmas? A look through the photo albums I've kept over the years and I find more pictures were taken on Christmas or around Christmas than any other time of the year.
Christmas is always a reminder of the childhood years, of Santa arriving on a fire truck, by helicopter, and even of the community program in a small Idaho town when a dozen young farmers and ranchers hefted Santa's sled on their shoulders to carry it and the jolly elf into the school gym. It brings memories of little brown paper sacks filled with peanuts, hard candy, and a single chocolate; if we were lucky there was an orange in the bag too. There was always an orange in the toe of my stocking Christmas morning! Remember all of the Santas and Christmas trees we colored as children, then ohed and ahed over similar masterpieces our children and grandchildren produced.
Even for someone as tone deaf as me, Christmas memories include music. Christmas carols are some of the first music I really heard. Over the years I've attended a lot of choir and band Christmas concerts with my children and grandchildren; I love hearing and singing (even if I can't carry a tune) Christmas carols at church, and each CD I play brings back special memories like the year our high school choir provided the music for the Baptist Church's Christmas service because their pastor was our choir director and he needed a choir. (We used to be able to do things like that).
There was the first Christmas as a married couple, a Christmas when we were so poor I painted a Christmas tree on our front room window because we didn't have any money to buy a tree, the Christmas we received a darling baby girl, all those Christmases when our children were growing up and we were playing Santa and trying to teach them that Christmas meant more than presents, the Christmas pageants where our children, then our grandchildren presented the story from St. Luke, and of course the time our cat climbed the Christmas tree and tipped it over.
Christmas is a time to build golden memories of giving. Coins dropped in a Salvation Army bucket, playing secret Santa, an anonymous check, coats and blankets donated to a shelter, a bag of groceries for someone who needs it, a sidewalk shoveled, a few hours of free babysitting, a telephone call to someone who is lonely, and the list goes on and on. Rich or poor we can give something.
Good memories are one of life's greatest pleasures and so I'm wishing all of our V-Formation readers a Christmas filled with warm memories to treasure throughout all your days.