Keep a journal near the hub of activity and jot down the date as you make your entry. Record what’s going on and how you or others are feeling at the moment. Write down spontaneous comments, funny witticisms, and precious one-liners your husband and children say as they help you prepare meals, plan special outings or gather around the tree to open presents. Capture dialog, using quotations marks, and don’t forget to include the name of the one who is speaking. This sure beats searching through drawers trying to find the scrap of paper you wrote that once-in-a lifetime saying on long after the holiday is over.
When our youngest daughter, Anna, was a little girl, she exclaimed, “Mom, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I just have to burst into song!” What a precious insight into her seven-year-old world. I immediately wrote her comment down in my journal. I knew from previous experience, if left to my memory, I would soon forget what she had said.
In years past, during family celebrations, my husband and son would often say, “That’s a writer downer!”and then proceed to reiterate word-for-word a funny comment one of the girls had made. You’ll find your family members begin to value one another’s words and experiences a lot more when they know you’re preserving them in a journal.
You may think that capturing special moments depends solely upon you, but remember that children are full of words to describe their experiences. That’s what family writing is all about. It’s listening to the hearts of your children through the words of their experience, and helping them get those experiences on paper. So don’t hesitate to ask little ones if they would like you to write their stories in “The Christmas Journal.” You’ll be surprised and delighted at what comes out of their mouths!
Recording Christmas as it happens will give you a wealth of family stories to treasure in years to come. Whether journaling in your personal journal, helping a child journal in his, or recording everyone’s experiences and comments in a special holiday journal, you’ll be glad in the years to come that you preserved those precious family times.
Best of all your children will know you cherish what they say because you’re listening to their hearts and taking the time to write down what they’re saying. No material gift has greater worth than the words of our lives, valued and preserved, especially at Christmastime!