Making Memories during a lockdown

Making Memories during a lockdown

My mom spoke to a group of women when I was a teenager. It was one of only a handful of times I can remember her getting up in front of people and speaking. It left a lasting impression on me. As a side note: speaking on something you are passionate at your core makes public speaking a lot easier.

She spoke on Making Memories

I have carried this with me everyday and it seeps over even into my romantic relationships. If we’re not making memories it won’t last long.

You must be intentional in life or it passes you by.

I wanted to write this up now as there are holidays that we are celebrating as families that aren’t quite like we are used to celebrating them and that is okay.

When I think of making memories or celebrating during a crisis here are a few tips that I use:

  • Plan: It will take a little extra time to think through how you usually celebrate and what your options are currently.
  • It’s okay to change your traditions. Understand that it’s not the tradition that is special but it’s the thought behind the tradition.
  • Don’t skip it just because it’s not like before. Some of my best memories are when we celebrated differently. It will always be…” remember that one time!”

The first thing that comes to my mind when writing about this subject is Christmas.

We are huge Christmas people and that comes from mom. Her and her family were poor growing up and there were a lot of siblings, but her mom always made Christmas special with a big meal and a gift for everyone.

My mom’s mom passed before I was born but, in her honor, we celebrate the heck out of Christmas.

Here are a few examples that stick out where we celebrated Christmas but differently than normal.

Christmas in the Bush in Cameroon: I was around 6 and Drew was 4. There were no Christmas trees so mom made us a Christmas tree out of hangers and a broom stick. Best tree to date. We went to the black sand beaches and made a day of it.

Christmas in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana: We couldn’t find a tree anywhere! I mean we were in a desert… mom dug up and hauled in some weird Charlie brown Christmas tree. I can still remember her dragging that tree into our house.

Christmas in the Congo part 1: I was 16, Drew was 14 and Brooke 8. Mom was sick with Malaria on Christmas morning. Me and Drew ventured out for the first time on our own. If you don’t know us, I have blonde hair and blue eyes and Drew has red hair and blue eyes. Let’s say in the city of Kinshasa we stuck out like a sore thumb. Not only did we stick out we were teenagers…. I think you know how awkward teenagers are. We needed Christmas presents. So, we braved up and decided to go the art market across the street. Again, for context, Kinshasa speaks French and Lingala and about 100 other mixtures of languages. We spoke English lol. The market is smelly, and the artists are very lively as they have two humans here who have money as well as they’d probably never seen anyone that looked like us. Drew as always even at that young age was my everything and we successfully bought two paintings that are probably my most prized possession. I was so proud of us.

Christmas in the Congo part 2: We miraculously were able to get shipped in this beautiful fake Christmas tree (the only fake tree we have had in our lives other than the hanger tree.) We got the tree up and then suddenly my dad had to be rushed back to the US for medical help. We were able to give the tree to another family. We spent that Christmas on an airplane. The story leading to us getting on that plane is a story all its own. However, once on the plane we had one of my favorite Christmases. You can image how long the flight was and we had as much orange juice as our hearts desired and our own personal TVs where we could watch as many movies as hours in the flight. It was heaven.

Christmas has changed over the years, my parents got divorced and we’re still figuring out how to make them special even with the changes that life brings.

The point here is you don’t stop celebrating the beauty of life just because the circumstances change.

I would even say that the uniqueness of the holidays made them more memorable.

How many holidays stand out to you? What makes one stick out over another?

 I'd love to hear from you!