Your Christmas Memories Are More Than Gifts

A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of deleting countless emails from businesses with gift ideas and shipping reminders and advising me on the perfect present for everyone on my list. I slowly became aware of the immense pressure we put ourselves under – from family holiday pictures, to Christmas cards, to matching holiday-themed pajamas, to presents for everyone from family and friends to coworkers and school teachers and the delivery workers. I’m here to attest that the best gifts that leave the biggest impressions rarely come in a shiny package, and I know this to be true, first-hand!

We grew up with very little. My family was often below the poverty line, depending on programs that kept us afloat, from food stamps to free eyeglasses. There was more than one Christmas when we were the recipient of donated Christmas gifts, and when hand-me-down bags of clothes from members of our church were the highlight of the month. But I don’t remember the lack of presents under the tree or not getting the Barbie dream house that all my friends had. I have wonderful memories of making cookies, singing carols at nursing homes, stringing popcorn, making handmade gifts, and being in the church play.

There’s a meme floating around of the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” where he realizes that maybe Christmas doesn’t come in boxes with bows. When I started to think back, there’s not one memory of my childhood Christmases that focused on getting something.

I decided to put this theory to the test and ask my older son what was his favorite Christmas memory. I was a teenager when my older son was born. I worked full time and went to college part-time for seven years to give us a better life. It was hard and I wasn’t able to give him the life I wanted him to have. I thought he might reply with the times when he was a teenager and we were in a better place and spent Christmases with extended family.

Instead, he told me that he remembers one year he came home from school on the first day of Christmas break and I had Christmas movies playing. What he didn’t know is that I was supposed to work that night but, I was dealing with so much anxiety, I’d cancelled the event. I had popped popcorn, made hot chocolate, put blankets and pillows on the floor and the only lights on were those on the Christmas tree. We snuggled up and watched Rankin-Bass holiday classics that night. His favorite memory was simply spending time that with me.

Don’t worry about crossing those items off your list, wrapping them beautifully, and having a sumptuous dinner on the table or picture-perfect outfits. Write meaningful letters to those you love, or pick up the phone and talk to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. See this season through the eyes of your children who will be infatuated with Christmas lights, carols, and want nothing more than to spend time with you.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy