Simple Ways to Create Lasting Memories

Take Time to Enjoy the Little Things with Your Family

“The little things become the BIG things.” Have you ever heard that quote? A few years ago, I emailed some of my friends and asked them what they remembered about their childhood. I have reproduced many of their answers below, and I hope that you notice the things they remembered really were the little things.

Sometimes the simplest activities become the most memorable. So, if you feel like you can’t afford expensive activities or gifts, read the list below and see how inexpensively memories can be made. The important thing to remember is that you must spend quality time with your family. Quantity time is also good, but doing things together and looking each other in the eyes become VERY important in our memory “banks” ten years after leaving home. Here are some of the “memories” of childhood my friends sent me:

  • Arriving home to smell homemade bread or cookies
  • Baking Christmas cookies together
  • Barbecues in the back yard
  • Being driven to piano lessons
  • Being where mom was
  • Burning candles
  • Catching lightning bugs in a jar
  • Chicago Pizza Night on Saturday
  • Cleaning the house/my room together
  • Cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas meals
  • Counting the stars and looking for the constellations
  • Cutting down a Christmas tree from the woods or tree lot
  • Decorating the Christmas tree
  • Discussing Bible topics at the dinner table
  • Drinking hot chocolate made from “scratch”
  • Eating cereal that had prizes in the box
  • Eating meals that were not from a box mix
  • Flying kites
  • Folding clothes with family
  • Free and unlimited food in our kitchen
  • Getting my back scratched or my arm tickled when I was sick
  • Going for ice cream
  • Going to church together, even on vacations
  • Hearing Christmas music
  • Hearing rain on the roof
  • Hearing the old radio programs
  • Immediate family gatherings
  • Knowing that some things never change
  • Leftovers in the refrigerator
  • Licking the bowl after brownies, cake, or cookies were made
  • Lying on the grass, looking up at the stars
  • Making a recipe passed down through generations
  • Making homemade pizza on Friday night
  • Opening stockings as the first gift on Christmas Day
  • Packing the car for a trip
  • Pizza and root beer every Friday night
  • Playing games as a family
  • Popcorn after Wednesday night and Sunday night church
  • Praying together as a family
  • Reaching into Grandma’s cookie jar
  • Reading a book
  • Reading the Bible together as a family
  • Reading the Christmas story
  • Seeing Dad smile when he would sneak a taste of the meal
  • Sharing a candy bar
  • Shopping in America (this came from a missionary family)
  • Singing together as a family
  • Sipping hot chocolate by a fire
  • Sipping spiced, hot tea
  • Sitting on the family room couch to read a good book or the Bible
  • Smelling corn bread and beef stew
  • Smelling fried potatoes and onions cooking
  • Smelling Mom’s perfume or Dad’s cologne
  • Smelling sheets rinsed in Downey
  • Sound of the dishwasher in the evenings
  • Taking a “cookie dough ball” and eating it before it was baked
  • Talking to my parents on their bed
  • Waking up to breakfast smells
  • Walking in the snow—not shoveling it
  • Walking into an orderly home
  • Warm laundry being thrown on top of me
  • Watching a movie with the family
  • Wearing my favorite sweatshirt
  • Working in the family garden
  • “Welcome Home” posters for family members who had been gone

Enjoy the little things with your family, for one day, you may look back and discover that they were the BIG things your children remember.

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