It is almost Christmas Day, and the run up to Christmas has been an interesting one, not least because of all the snowfall that led to widespread disruption last week. People snowed in, cars abandoned, church services cancelled, roads as ice rinks and many schools and colleges closed, it certainly made for a less than average few days.
Unlike many parents across the county, our children were able to go in to school everyday last week – albeit with extra layers and wellington boots.
As I packed up their snow day extras – gloves, boots, hats and scarves, I was instantly swept back in time to happy memories of being pulled to school on a toboggan by my late Grandfather, him knee deep in snow and me on a red sledge with blue rope, clutching my lunch, holding on tight. I fondly recalled my named wooden peg that kept my welly boots together under my coat peg and the massive snowballs we rolled around the school field and then back through the village to the village green.
Like my fond memories, when I picked my children up at the end of a snowy day at school, they too were full of stories, of hot chocolate, giant snowmen and snowball competitions, tales of the teachers ambushing the children with snowballs, but the children claiming the narrow victory. Their faces were rosy, their noses a bit chilly, but overflowing with warmth and happiness.
The little flashbacks to my own childhood snow days and my own children’s stories of their now ‘best school day ever’ reminded me of the importance of making memories that matter.
The Bible reminds us to be careful, and watch ourselves closely so that we don’t forget the things our eyes have seen or let them fade from our hearts as long as we live. It says to teach them to your children and to their children after them.
So rather than wishing the snow away, we decided to make some new memories with our children – walks in fresh snow, snow angels and a snowman wearing Dad’s wooly hat and a carrot for a nose.
Christmas time brings with it a whole heap of worldly pressure and families feel this all too often, but the bottom line is your children and family won’t remember what kind of present you bought them, how much money you gave them. What they will remember is the time you spent with them.
This Christmas, why not focus on making memories that matter, memories that will last, memories that your children can one day tell to their children’s children.
Some memories just happen in the stories and sequence of life, like unexpected snow days, but others are more intentional, they require thought, effort and the precious gift of your time.
This Christmas I pray you will make memories that truly matter.