Making Holiday Memories

‘Tis the Season for Making Memories…

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By Amy Chibib

The Holiday Season is upon us and the message we hear is ~ “This is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”  True, this time of year is filled with Joy and Giving but another truth be told is that it can also be a challenging season for many. There are stories and memories behind the sparkle that can bring up sadness, disappointments, or loss. According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. This is counter intuitive to all the merriment surrounding us this time of year. Why is this so? I believe it is because it stirs our emotions and memories in a profound way and most likely topped with some unrealistic expectations.

I start this season with mixed emotions, my mom passed away at the end of this summer and my siblings and I no longer have any parents or grandparents alive ~ which marks the end of an era for my family. My siblings and I are all very independent and although roles had been reversed for some time; the final loss of our older generation is profoundly felt and one I don’t believe any of us expected. The bright side for me are all the good memories and a refreshed appreciation for those that were created so long ago.

In particular, I treasure memories of our Christmas Eve parties. Our house was filled with friends and family and I recall how my mom would spend the entire week building up to img_2324-1Christmas Eve getting the house just perfect. It was the anticipation that I believe made it the very best. I remember the sights and scents and especially the calm in the house just before everyone was to arrive. My dad had the stereo turn table all set with the classic albums and Nat King Cole was a favorite. To this day, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” can take me back to these moments quickly. For all the effort put into this special evening, it all ended so quickly. It was time to get ready for bed as our parents were talking up Santa’s arrival. When the morning came and we eagerly woke up my parents, this anticipation was held for as long as possible. I laugh now knowing my parents must have been exhausted and probably a img_2322-1little hung-over from all the spirits from the prior evening’s celebration that lasted well into the wee hours. They were desperate to get their coffee and photo ready to capture these moments. We had to line up down the hallway and wait as they had to go out into the living room to “check on Santa’s gifts”. I remember we would laugh and giggle for what seemed like forever and couldn’t wait to be released to go check out our gifts! I share a couple of photos of a special year I received a coveted play kitchen – I look as if I was a “Price is Right” contestant that won the motherload of prizes. I remember feeling so overwhelmed that Santa would bring me such a wonderful amazing gift. That is what I remember ~ feeling so special that Santa would think of me with such a wonderful surprise. I spent the entire day in my PJ’s playing in my new kitchen. Even at that early age imagining the joy it would be someday to be a mom and cook for my family.

These are the memories that create the strongest of bonds – they are deep wired with emotions within our mind. They can inspire us to share and give more to those we love for generations to come.

The importance our memories have on our health – we do not fully comprehend, but everyone agrees they have the power to change our lives in significant ways. The beauty of amykitchenthis is fully expressed in the spirit of Christmas and how traditions have remained alive and continue to spread love and good cheer generation after generation! It is the joy, love, hope and forgiveness the season is wrapped in that inspires and motivates us to keep creating long lasting positive memories.

Wherever your emotions may take you this season, take peace in knowing You are not alone and there is healing in feeling it all!  The brave act of accepting these emotions and sharing where you are and what you need; is where the spirit of your season is found. Respond in giving back the best of your memories and making new ones with your loved ones is the essence of Christmas and promise of Love everlasting!

May this season bring you joy in knowing it is in the little moments that the best memories are made and treasured. We may not all have Dream Kitchen’s delivered on Christmas morning but I bet you can conjure up some of that magic starting today. You never know what moment will get recorded so embrace where you are in authenticity, make room for all the crazy and simply share, I believe these are the gifts and best ingredients for creating joyous holiday memories.


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