Kathryn M. - 2/10/2007 6:30 PM ET
Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, the holidays abound. Frenzy mounts with each passing day as the clock ticks away the precious moments left to complete the many tasks I have preordained for myself. There are gifts to buy and to wrap, There are the many traditions I have yet to start, like creating a “pass it forward” chain of kindness from one neighbor to the next, the hope of homemade gifts, and carols around a piano that we do not yet own. My mind swirls with excitement at the advent of each new Christmas season. “Oh, the things we will do….!” Inevitably, my intentions are squeezed out among the throngs of shoppers at the nearby shopping mall. I drop them one by one and hope to hang onto the precious morsels which convey the true meaning and value of my life--like watching my children in the annual Christmas Pageant at church, seeing my children hug their grandparents, or coming upon a child behind a closed door trying to wrap a homemade gift for one of her siblings.
I am not there yet, but I am trying hard to accept my life for what it is. I am trying to accept my life for what I can accomplish within the parameters of my reality. Frequently, I am guided by the many pictures painted in the Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, or other well meaning publications which focus on creating the best that life has to offer. Within the kinetic energy of raising five children, I am learning to grab the moments when I can and frame them like cherished photographs in my memory.
This past week after supper, I was so tired that I climbed into the recliner, pushed back, snuggled into a faux fur throw and fell asleep for a few moments under the glimmer of Christmas lights. I awoke to find myself alone with the others at the back of the house, so I took time to leaf through some Christmas memory books. The memories, and gratitude for my family glowed under the lights of the tree. I felt warm and knew that as simple as it was, this was going to become a snapshot memory in my mind.
Another “snapshot” will be of Wyatt walking with a spruce branch flung over his back after an afternoon of tree hunting and chopping. His Santa hat was atop his head with his name facing back instead of forward. From behind , it was the perfect picture memory. Unfortunately, we were just out of film. Instead I will commit this print to my memory. A simple thought, perhaps. But for me it frames perfectly, the afternoon I shared with my family.
What are some of the snapshots you will commit to memory long after this holiday season is over? They need not be momentous events. Look for the simple joys, frame the memory, and 'click'. Your memory will last a lifetime.
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