The holidays can be hectic and the pressure to provide a perfect holiday experience for our family and friends is intense. But I want you to take a minute to remember holidays from your childhood. What memories stick out as your favorite?
I always think about German Sour Cream Twists. A pastry that my grandmother would make for my mother and uncles every Christmas morning and a tradition that my mother carried on with my siblings and I. Every Christmas morning we would be kept in anticipation of presents while we waited for the Twists to bake. My mother had decreed that no presents would be opened until after she had finished baking.
I don’t remember the presents. I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my mother roll out and form the pastries. I remember smelling them bake. I remember the warm flaky deliciousness of the first ones from the oven. I remember this ritual and the ways my family interacted around it. My most cherished memories from the holidays were the things I got to do with my family. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
What’s the point of this? Well, we spend a lot of time and energy running around, getting stressed out trying to find the right gifts and buy magical holiday memories when these aren’t the things we end up remembering with warm glow years down the road.
What should we take from this? Keep the holidays simple and if you really want to provide a magical holiday for your family and loved ones give them your attention. Take the time to bake cookies together, read the Nutcracker (or any book), take a drive/walk to see a super decorated neighborhood, pick out a tree and spend the afternoon decorating, make some homemade decorations and ornaments, go ice skating and drink hot cocoa, make some artwork gifts for the people you love. Time is our most precious commodity and it can’t be bought.
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