To the Memory Makers


Several months ago, a friend and I were texting back and forth. I think I had complimented her on hosting a great party and was telling her about how I was currently spray painting horses gold to go with the theme for my Kentucky Derby party. We were laughing at ourselves and the details we care about and then she made the comment, “We are the memory makers.”

Something about this struck me. It inspired me as I teared up. I feel this very deeply, that I am a “memory maker”. My husband laughs at my traditions (I have one for just about everything), but he loves it and so do I. Planning special things brings so much joy to my heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s an elaborate birthday party or just sitting down each year to watch the same Christmas movie and sip hot cocoa; it’s those little things, done with intention and care, that make life sweeter and bring us together.  

I come by it honestly — my mom is the original memory maker, the Christmas Queen, as I like to call her. For as long as I can remember, we would sit down with our stacks of cookbooks, Martha Stewart magazines, and notebooks, with Amy Grant Christmas albums playing, and plan out our holidays. We might have a tear sheet one of us saved from a magazine with an idea for a wreath (these were pre-Pinterest days). Which new dessert will be on the buffet for Thanksgiving this year? Which spot in the living room will we be putting the tree? What is our theme this Christmas? We would spend hours with our hot coffee and tea, dreaming and planning these times, and there was always so much magic in watching it come to life. 

My mom has a way of making things extra special. She instilled in me a love for entertaining and being the hostess. Every year, once the end of August hits, I start thinking, “Oh my goodness, it’s almost September, which means fall is here, then it’s November, and CHRISTMAS IS TOMORROW!” I’m sorry, its just how I was raised. Several weeks ago, as I sat down — in the 95-degree Alabama heat, I might add — to work on my Thanksgiving plans, I, of course, called my mom to chat about it and she said, “I’m so glad you called, I was doing the same thing last night!” I guess you could say that this is another tradition of ours.  

As we are in this busy holiday season, take a minute to step back and enjoy the little moments. As fun as traditions are, they can be overwhelming, so only include the things that are life-giving. For every crazy idea that comes up in your brainstorming, there will probably be several that just aren’t going to happen. It’s okay, I can promise that your family will be much happier if you are too. In your memory making this year, plan what you can, love the time spent with your people, and let the rest go.

So, to all of you memory makers, keep up the good work. This world needs you and the beauty you bring. Your family needs the joy that you create during the good years and the hard years. This is our season. This is our time to shine.