19. Making Memories During Christmas and the Holidays

A favorite Christmas song has a line that describes Christmas as ‘the most
wonderful time of the year.’ While giving and receiving gifts is something that
is highly anticipated and remembered at Christmas time, there are also many more
activities that make Christmas memorable and wonderful.
One of these activities is decorating the Christmas tree. The Christmas
tree occupies a central spot and is the most visible display of Christmas in
most homes. Unlike in other countries, most American homes do not have a
representation of the Nativity scene, which is more likely to be located at
As soon as the Christmas season begins on the day after Thanksgiving,
families will begin their search for the perfect Christmas tree. This in itself
can become a memorable activity as children may accompany family members to
places like a Christmas tree farm to select a tree.
Once a real or artificial tree is selected, then it’s an exciting activity
for the entire family to play a part in decorating the tree. Manufactured
decorations come in many shapes and forms. But a special memory is created when
family members make a special ornament for the Christmas tree, or contribute one
or more keepsake items to decorate the Christmas tree. It then becomes a ritual
each year for those particular items to be placed on the Christmas tree although
other decorations may change in coming years.
Another activity that can help to create special memories at Christmas is
baking cookies. Along with popular gingerbread cookies, using cookie cutters to
make special holiday-shaped cookies is also practiced a lot in households. Based
on the ages of children, they can help in the actual baking activity by
measuring and mixing some ingredients, or, younger children can sprinkle sugar
on the cookies or decorate them with icing when they are finished. Helping in
this activity can also be educational as parents can use the activity of
measuring and figuring out equivalent measures to teach fractions and other
mathematical elements.
An activity that is related to food which also helps to create memories
during the Christmas season is making fruit and goody baskets, which are filled
with candies, baked items and other treats for loved ones, their special
friends, neighbors, teachers or for charity. Items such as goody baskets make
especially wonderful Christmas gifts because they are home-made. That quality
often makes them more treasured than a Christmas present that is bought at the
Because Christmas is the season of goodwill and good cheer, it is very
important to reach out to family, loved ones and friends during the season. The
busy lives that many people lead today often leaves them little or no time
during the year to be in frequent contact with family and friends who are
located far away, or even others who live within a reasonable distance in the
same or a neighboring state, for example.
It is therefore very common during Christmas to send a Christmas or holiday
greeting card to those individuals. Along with the pleasant memory of receiving
the card, there may be a short letter included that gives a brief account of any
significant event in the individual’s life or with members of the family. That
makes sending and receiving Christmas greeting cards more memorable.
Then there’s probably the most anticipated activity of Christmas – finding
out what Christmas gift Santa brought on Christmas Eve. While adults also look
forward with much anticipation to see what Christmas gifts they will get, it’s
really the children who get the most delight from receiving presents at
Christmas. The carefully planned actions to hide Christmas presents from
children and then to magically place them under the Christmas tree to be found
on Christmas morning is one of the most wonderful ways to create unforgettable
memories for children at Christmas.