The Memory Book: Holiday Reflections

By Dec 1, 2011January 30th, 201533 Comments

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As the holiday season draws ever nearer, we wanted to feature some writing and reflections about the holiday. So today, we bring you the first in a series of posts by some fabulous writers who graciously agreed to share some of their holiday moments with our community.  Sherri from Old Tweener is here with a beautifully sentimental post about a Christmas memory book….and how quickly time flies.

The Christmas boxes came down from the attic this past weekend; tattered cardboard corners the scars they bear from years of service guarding our holiday treasures.

I started opening boxes looking for the right one. Delicate blown-glass ornaments, Santa towels, pine cones, handmade stockings, red velvet ribbons, and the bright red tree skirt set off to the side as I carefully searched for the book.

The Christmas Memories Book is the last thing I pack away and the first thing I want to touch when the boxes come down again. Each year has sections for writing about special gifts, memories, visitors, and a spot for a picture. Our book now holds eighteen years of Christmases, beginning with the one when I was barely pregnant with our first child.

There are only two years remaining in our book.

What began as a pregnant woman yearning for tradition as she started her family has turned into something more.

Our book holds the proof that my children were small, Santa-believing souls once upon a time. Small faces peering up at me from the pages tug at my heart a bit more with each passing year. The teary-eyed little girl who was afraid of Santa; the little boy so eager to tell him what he wished for. Pictures of big brother and little sister, taken everywhere from the vineyards around our town to the beach in Hawaii. Toothless grins, fresh haircuts, fancy new holiday clothes, and silly smiles make my heart ache for those tiny babies of mine.

Babies who have morphed into teenagers, seemingly overnight.

I am grateful for these memories. For all of the late nights assembling those some assembly required toys and the mornings we showered too early and waited for the kids to wake up. For morning cinnamon rolls with extra coffee, piles of wrap and bows littering the family room floor, giggles, cameras flashing, hugs, high-fives and happy squeals. When I ordered the book, twenty years of Christmas memories seemed like plenty; more than enough time for babies to grow up and Christmas celebrations to take on a different feel. I had no idea just how quickly the book would be completed.

Two more years. This year, and next.

My son left for college this fall; my daughter starts high school next year. I still hang the stockings; they are magically filled with little treasures and candies every Christmas morning. Each night we count down the days until Christmas as we take turns untying the bows on our advent calendar. The kids each bake and decorate (then eat) a gingerbread house. We bake cookies, listen to carols, visit family and friends, and watch all the traditional holiday movies together.

The memories of Christmases past buried deep in my heart just need the book to stir them up again each year.

And the memories we are still making are just as wonderful.

I think I may need to order another book.

About The Author

Sherri Kuhn is a wife and mother, writer, lover of wine and cheese, coffee fanatic, and sometimes exerciser.  She writes at Old Tweener, a place that’s sometimes funny, often sarcastic, and requires tissues once in a while. She writes about raising teenagers, the craziness of being a middle-aged woman, the perils of a clean home, wistfulness over babies, and anything else that makes her laugh (or cry) in the years between changing diapers and wearing them. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Alina Thomas

Alina is a Northern Virginia wedding photographer based out of Leesburg, VA. She has a passion for arts and design, and strives to express it through her work. She is creative at heart and loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge in photography with other Virginia wedding photographers on her blog each week. Alina loves being a new mom to her first-born and spending time with her husband who helps her run her businesses. Please feel free to follow her on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+.


  • Sharon Cruz says:

    You really are a “life” blogger. I started a journal when Matilda was born for this very reason to remember. I need to do that!!

  • Monica Patton says:

    I think I will have to. What a cherished book! Heck, she was telling me today that she can’t wait until she can move out and live on her own.

  • Oh I love this. sniff.

  • Wow…this is great. Makes me wonder what people did before cameras. No art rendering can really capture a moment the way actual faces & expressions can, you know?

  • beckykid says:

    Beautiful idea 🙂 My son just turned 2 so it might be time to start this 🙂 Thank you!

  • Beautiful writing and I love your tradition. Oh, my babes are only 2 and 4 and I am already “missing” them. Thank you for writing with such power and honesty. Again, beautifully written words.

  • Mimi says:

    That is an amazing idea! I need to do that!!

  • angela says:

    I want one 🙂 I think I will start one this year. Sherri, you are an inspiration always.

  • My husband and I were discussing just an hour ago how we’re not ready for the magic of Christmas to be gone from our house.

    Our children are only 12 and 14, BUT. At these ages they already know the “truths” about the holidays. We don’t sit on Santa’s lap anymore. We never had an Elf on a Shelf.

    Still. They talk with excitement in their voices about going to their cousins’ house for Thanksgiving; about the cousins’ return visit at Christmas. Of friends joining us for dinner on the 25th. And carols and turkey and cookies and fires in the fireplace (even in California!).

    The magic is still there. For all of us.
    It’s just shifted from laps to hearts.

  • Jill says:

    I’d never heard of this before – sooo cute!

  • Kris says:

    I love this! I wish I had a book. I guess it’s not too late to start. Although I got teary reading about yours. I’m sure I’ll cry every year reading ours.

  • Ruth says:

    Beautiful, and the book is such a wonderful idea. Time does just seem to accelerate–last Christmas seems only about six months ago. I’ve never been too good about writing down those kinds of memories for my kids, but I guess I’ve still got time, and now I am duly inspired!

  • Nichole says:

    This is just beautiful, Sherri.
    That book is such a tremendous gift to your children. I think you might beed to buy two more and duplicate them!
    Much love to you, my friend. I can’t wait to read about the Christmas memories you create this year.

  • I started a journal when Matilda was born for this very reason to remember. She is 8 months already and I can hardly believe how much she has changed. It’s happening too fast!!!
    But a Christmas memory book would be beautiful as well. So many firsts for her to come.

  • Cheryl D. says:

    What a beautiful story, Sherri!

    I can’t believe how fast time is going by! I love the stage my daughter is at right now. I know I’ll blink and she’ll be a teenager. Heck, she was telling me today that she can’t wait until she can move out and live on her own. She wasn’t even angry when she said it–simply stated that she can’t wait to be grown up and have her own place.

    I need kleenex!

  • Galit Breen says:

    Sherri! Love seeing you here! Beautiful, as always!

  • Beautiful! What a great gift!

  • Sherri!!! What a WONDERFUL thing to have! Now I’m thinking I should start something like this!!

  • Tonya says:

    This is beautiful, Sherri!

    What a wonderful keepsake. You MUST order another one.


  • Kir says:

    Oh Sherri it doesn’t surprise me that you have a book like this filled with love and memories…of your life…the whole thing. Wow!!!!! What a gift YOU are to all of us who know you! Xoxo

    • Sherri says:

      Oh, you are so sweet Kir! I am just so glad I started it, because back then I wasn’t even writing. It’s a precious thing to me now, to read all the memories.

  • Alexandra says:

    You do it to me, every time, S.

    You really are a “life” blogger.

    I loved this. Lump in my throat and all.

  • Reminds me of Christmas back home in Minnesota…thanks for sharing your story! =)

  • Jodi says:

    Wow… I’m teary-eyed reading this. My one and only child, my daughter, will be heading off to college in the fall 2012. This is our last Christmas with her truly at home and I’m a basket case each time I think about it! I will still hold all our traditions though, no matter how far away she is. And I will always look forward to her homecoming.

    Now, I wish I had a Christmas book to document all our times together. 🙂

    • Sherri says:

      Wow, you’re where I was this time last year…and everything felt like “the last”. I look forward to my son coming home for the holidays and making some new memories.

  • What a neat idea. I don’t have children and my family is very small, but I have animals and we love them. It would be fun to create a Christmas memory book for this year. We want to keep the holidays small and low key and it’ll be perfect for capturing with my camera!

    Thanks for inspiring this idea!

  • Alene says:

    Memories are so precious. That’s one thing I cherish each Christmas as we decorate and spend time together — memories!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Marie Cole says:

    You definitely need to order another book for another 20 years of memories…I loved reading your post, time does fly doesn’t it? What a cherished book! 🙂