Making memories with your family this Christmas

Written by Janet Denison
Published on December 17, 2021

I remember as a young woman hearing an older woman say, “Don’t wait for memories to happen. Your most important memories will be made.” She went on to teach us how important it was to have things like family traditions, family priorities, and times to plan and prepare for those memories to be made. Looking back, I agree with the wisdom of her thinking.

The kids are out of school. What will you do with them during these two weeks that will live in their memories years from now? What family traditions do you want to begin, continue, or cling to this Christmas season?

I hope you have set aside a lot of time to simply be a family this Christmas. Friends matter—but they don’t matter as much as family. Parents can teach their children this by choosing to spend time with them instead of with others. Teach them they are more important than whoever just sent that text or invited you to that party. Spend time with your parents so that your kids will grow up to spend time with you.

Your kids are out of school and home for the holidays. Make hot chocolate, watch a movie together, or build a puzzle on the kitchen table. Visit the mission or deliver gifts to donate—but do those things as a family. If this is a tradition when they are young, keep it as a tradition when they are teens. Family traditions make memories.

What will your children “remember” when they have children of their own? Chances are, their memories will be born of your choices more often than from things that randomly happen. Life is fast, changing, and often chaotic—especially during the Christmas season. Teach your children how to find the “pause” button in their lives, and use it when needed.

Most importantly, plan to enjoy every moment possible. Each Christmas is unique because of changing ages, changing circumstances, and changing wants and needs. Traditions will help provide an island in that sea of change.

What memories are you planning to make this Christmas? When they head back to school and a teacher asks them what they did for Christmas, how will your children answer the question? It isn’t hard to make memories, but chances are, the best ones won’t just “happen.”

All of us who serve wish you and your family a Christmas season blessed with memory-making joy and peace.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel;” which means, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

May God be with you—and may you be with God. Merry Christmas!

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Janet Denison

Janet Denison teaches others to live an authentic faith through her writing, speaking, and teaching ministry. She blogs weekly at and often at

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