Joy Writing: Creating memories key to ‘peace on earth’
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Dec 08, 2013 | 442 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Everyone has memories that they treasure. For some they might be from childhood, others the moment he “popped the question” or when she walked down the aisle. It might be that moment a son or daughter returned home from a military deployment overseas or when children crowded around Dad for a Christmas Eve story.

I am blessed that I have several childhood memories I hold dear. Making Christmas cookies, and creating popcorn balls for Easter with my family. Playing “director” with my dad and sister. Learning games that my mom had played with her sisters when they were young.

Christmas cookies, egg hunts and road trips were yearly affairs. From many of my childhood memories I have gained wisdom and learned things about my family and myself.

The road less traveled is often more fun.

Red food coloring takes forever to get off one’s hands, so use sparingly.

A penny and a set of stairs can create a fun game. My mom would hold out two closed fists, and as my sister and I sat at the bottom of the steps leading to the second floor, we would guess which hand the penny was in. A correct guess and we moved up a step. A wrong guess and we moved down one.

There were 17 steps.

A bunk bed became a crow’s nest as my dad and I became pirates, with actions and tips being shouted from below by my younger sister/director.

Each of these memories didn’t cost much, but it was the time spent with those I loved that made it special.

When I grew up and moved out, I started to realize I had friends who didn’t have such memories. One friend had never frosted a cupcake. Another had never made homemade Christmas cookies.

Somewhere along the way I appointed myself the person to make these things happen.

Annual cookie parties became a holiday tradition. One year an international student from China came and tasted a sugar cookie for the very first time.

Living alone a box of cake batter was a perfect excuse for a party, because I would never eat it all myself.

Even my now husband didn’t have the memories of holiday traditions that as a child I thought everyone had.

Early in our dating days, he and I realized we had grown up in very different homes. Partly because he grew up in the country and I grew up in a suburb of Baltimore called Dundalk with a culture all its own. We say what we think. We can be a bit blunt.

Fortunately, he has made Christmas cookies.

I was shocked to learn that he had never colored eggs for Easter. I realize now this is probably not as rare as I previously thought. This is one memory, though, I won’t try to create, because he doesn’t like hard-boiled eggs.

Memories are amazing things. A simple word can send you right back to another place and time. Something I thought I had forgotten about suddenly plays on the screen of my mind.

Giving the gift of spending time together is often easier for me than picking out “the perfect gift.”

Creating memories can be a very precious gift, and it doesn’t always take a lot of planning.

Spur-of-the-moment get-togethers with friends often bring laughter and smiles remembered for years to come. Many times in the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas much is said about the importance of creating memories with one’s children.

But, I think taking the time to create memories with friends and family is important at any age.

Anyone, regardless of age, appreciates knowing that people care.

A plate of cookies to that neighbor who has no family nearby, a Christmas party for busy friends encouraging a time away from stress or inviting that 20-something who has just moved miles away from family to share your holiday traditions — these are memories that last.

Presents don’t always come in boxes with bows. Many times they come in kind words and actions.

If we truly had more of these types of gifts then we might really have “peace on earth and good will toward men.”