As October ends, it seems a bit overwhelming for me to think of the bulk of holidays that are about to occur and my to do list. Usually when I think about this time of year, I tend to concentrate on fulfilling the needs of others, and often forget to fulfill my own first.
Once this occurs, I often get more stressed because my diet and health routines are forgotten, and I find myself getting less sleep stressing about my responsibilities or worrying about the list of items I still need to do.
This year, as every year, I tell myself it is going to be different, and that I will approach it differently, to avoid stress and chaos. Well, here’s for hoping and recognizing that am I only one person, that must focus on myself before I fulfill the needs of others.
When the holidays come to mind, so do the memories of holidays from the past. I remember the pictures of gatherings, can smell the warm foods coming out of the oven and I hear the blissful sounds of family and friends joining in conversation and laughter.
These memories fill my mind with joy and happiness, and I begin to look forward to the coming months ahead and all of the new memories that will be created.
Two of the most important things that I will do this year, to make and create lasting memories, is taking pictures during the gatherings and making my signature dishes.
1.Taking Pictures: I often find that everyone wants to take pictures at get togethers, and then fails to remember to distribute and share them. This of course is not intentional, but rather a side effect of a busy time of year. At every important function I attend, I make sure to get everyone’s current home address and email address.
I then always email the family pictures of the gathering and make sure to send one in the mail to the family when I mail out cards for the holidays. This way they have something tangible to reflect upon and cherish and they can go back and look at family memories for years to come.
2. Food: Another thing that I absolutely love to do around the holidays is create 2 special recipes of Broccoli Casserole and a Cheesecake. I have become so accustom to having these dishes because we often had them growing up on special occasions.
In order to help people keep the memories alive of the food created, I often print out multiple copies of the recipes and pictures of the food created and bring it along with me to distribute to those who are interested in making the dish because they enjoy it.
I love being able to share this info because I think that my traditions are being further passed along to friends and family to make and share for decades to come. What do you think of when it comes to family memories and how they are created? These are just 2 examples of memories that stick out in my mind that mean a lot to mean and I cherish dearly. Whatever memory you and your family make and create this year, my hope is that it is done with peace and spreads happiness and joy for years to come.
By: Amber Sanner, MS, LMFT