Memories as a child at Christmas during the 60’s are precious to me. I remember wonderful things about my family, spiritual holiday celebrations, and enjoyable creative activities. The most memorable of these used all of the senses! Christmas through the eyes of a child: Me!
See, Hear, Smell and Touch
Bright colors of reds, greens, shiny gold and silver, and twinkling tree lights dance through my mind. Smells of newly cut balsam, freshly ground coffee percolating, and cookies baking envelope my memories. Times of creating ornaments, decorating the tree and wrapping gifts with my Mom and Nanny bring joy. Christmas melodies on the radio and beautiful sounds from the pipe organ at my church resonate in my soul. Warm feelings emerge as I remember Mom’s kitchen hugs and Dad showing me birds as they danced around the feeders in winter.
Time of Spiritual Connection
I remember Christmas as a time of spiritual connection. In the bustle of getting ready for the live Nativity scene at our church, I was enthralled most with the farm animals that paraded around the courtyard beforehand! Singing carols and lighting candles connected me with the real meaning of Christmas, the Hope that came into the world as a little baby, God’s Son. That was the most amazing event to me…and has stayed in my heart ever since!
Good Memories Bring Us Strength
I was blessed with such good memories at Christmas, that when tough times came I could always remember these to get me through the holidays. Through times of death, difficulties and loss, I held on to the true meaning of Christmas through my childhood remembrances.
As a therapist and life coach, I am well aware of the harsh reality that many do not have childhood holiday memories filled with joy; instead with abandonment, sadness, tragedy and confusion. It is a great miracle when there is but one memory filled with Light!
Commit to Making Positive Memories
How we view Christmas as a child stays with us throughout our life. Negative circumstances do not have to dictate the memories one makes. It is how circumstances are handled, the sense of wonder and joy that family members can offer a young child even during difficult times. Families who are committed to making positive memories for their children are giving the gift of lifetime strength.
A child is a concrete thinker until mid-teens, when they begin thinking more abstractly, making better sense of their world. Providing loving and warm experiences of Christmas will give young children a sense of security that can last a lifetime. By having the opportunity of positive family experiences, uplifting spiritual celebration, and fun, creative, multi-sensory activities a child can carry into their future a strong sense of self. Instead of being consumed with worries this Christmas, be mindful of the child (and adult!) who needs a hug, a smile, and the light of Hope.
Susan Miller, PhD, LPCS, NCC is a Psychotherapist, Certified Creativity Coach, Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Entrepreneur & Life Coach offers counseling, coaching & creativity workshops that light the path of your life journey through Lighted Path® Coaching and Miller Counseling Services, PC. Along with having 30+ years of counseling, coaching, and group facilitation experience, Susan is a life-time trained artist with a special interest in painting, mixed media and fabric art.