Making Family Memories

Christmas morning
Christmas morning

"What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen." Cynthia Ozick

Every Christmas morning we make our children sit at the top of the stairs and wait while Billy and I to go and "check" to see if Santa visited.  The anticipation is comical.  Our kids are beside themselves with energy.

The "wait up there"  is part of Billy's vivid childhood memories and he's decided our kids need to survive similar yuletide torture.  (I grew up in a ranch house, so the whole "stair thing" was news to me, but I hear this is a common practice.)  We extend the time they wait by turning on the lights, letting the dog out, and putting on the water for tea. Isn't this behavior part of the parent job description?

Of course, we also take lots of pictures.

And the pictures tell a little story of what's going on in our lives.  We see the kids grow.  We see the dog age.  We remember the joy of the morning.

The three-minute video below is a wonderful talk from a man who decided to make an atypical photo part of his ongoing daughter's story.  I love the images, but mostly I love how intentional the father is in investing in his daughter's memories.  I find his story challenging AND inspiring in how I plan my time.

Watch and see if you feel the same.

How do you build your family memories?  Do you have similar traditions?  Do you take pictures in the same spot?

And, out of curiosity, if you have stairs in your home, do you make your kids sit at the top?