Kari Sutton

Kari Sutton

The key question to keep asking is: Are you spending your time on the right things?

As time is all you have.

Randy Pausch

One of my most valued things in the entire world is a tin lunch box filled with keepsakes, cards and photos. I open it up whenever I need a boost or am feeling a little down, these things always bring a smile to my face and possibly a small tear to my eye. If ever there was a fire at my house that would be one of the first things I’d grab. Good memories are our psychological equivalent to those magical boxes we turn to when we need an emotional boost. Those magic moments that touch our hearts and delight our souls may seem trivial to others, but the memory of them consistently provides a boost of positive emotion that lifts us out of sadness and desolation.

Memories from childhood are some of the most precious we have they shape our lives and have a significant impact on the kind of people we become.

Research has shown that people who have childhoods filled with experiences imbued with joy, love and fun have a more optimistic disposition as well as better health later in life. It’s our job as parents to help our children make quality memories that they will treasure forever. These memories don’t necessarily have to be of expensive gifts; very few of my childhood memories revolve around gifts that I received. I definitely remember the year that I got a cabbage patch doll and my brother and I opening books from our grandparents every year. But other than that, my gift-receiving recollections are quite scant. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the gifts I was given, I did, it’s just that the most treasured memories I have are of spending time with family and the experiences we had together.

As we move into the holiday season here are some ways you can create cherished memories with your children.

Reading together

Wrap 24 books before December first and then put them under your Christmas tree. Each night your child can choose a book to unwrap and then read it together (these don’t have to be new books). You could also choose favourite Christmas or holiday stories to share.

Donating to local charities

Go through your things and set aside toys, clothing, sporting goods and anything else that’s in good condition that you don’t use anymore. You can also go to the store and select toys or other gifts for fam­ilies less fortunate at Christmas time. Then make a time to deliver the items to a deserving charity or non-profit organisation together. They are always grateful for basic necessities, food and gifts to give to those in need.

Have a Christmas Movie Night.

Choose a family favourite holiday movie, wear pyjamas and eat movie related treats.

Family Photo/ Video

Take a family photo or you could make a family video interviewing each family member about their favourite family memories from the year.

Ideas from Google

Do some research on Google to find free, local Christmas and holiday community events in your area – nativity plays, carols, community movies and Christmas fairs.


Magic moments don’t have to be precision planned they can be tiny, impromptu fun-filled moments where there is no agenda, no great rush, just enjoyment, fun and connection.

Good memories are a magical button our children can press to playback all those good times and reset their minds into a positive state. This holiday season we can be the magicians in our children’s lives creating magic moments they will look back on, times when they felt enveloped in a blanket of love, when they felt understood and had a deep-seated sense of belonging and connection.