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The Simplest Things
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Another Christmas has come and gone, and along with memories of family gatherings, I want to remember a quote I stumbled across. It’s a quote from Bob Hope: “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things—not the great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

I think there’s a lot of truth in that quote. There have been times when I thought that I needed to do things up big in order to make lasting memories for my family. But something happened the day after I read this quote that helped me see things differently.

While cleaning house, I lifted a knick-knack off the shelf so I could dust. Stuck to the bottom was a pressed and dried purple violet. It was one my husband had picked for me on a summer walk a few years ago. The flower reminded me of other simple memories around our house.


In our freezer is a container with a snowball inside. The winter when our daughter was four, she was sick with bronchitis and couldn’t play out in the snow. I walked into our living room and saw her at the window, in her footed pajamas, looking longingly at the snow. I grabbed a bucket and headed outside, returning with fresh, fallen snow. I put a tarp on the kitchen floor and we built a snowman! We kept some of that snow as a reminder of a special morning spent together.

In one of my dresser drawers is a glass box with similar types of memories: a seashell from a walk on the beach, a dandelion from our front yard, a pebble from a hike, a little note…. In a box in our closet are years of color crayon drawings—some that only a mother could interpret. And in the freezer next to the snowball is a frozen Easter egg from years ago that our daughter just couldn’t part with. These all spark memories—memories of the “simplest things” in life.

You don’t need to have money to make family memories. What you and your kids will remember most will be the laughter, the warmth, and the feeling of family. Feeding ducks in the park, hiking in the woods, going on a picnic, roasting marshmallows, gazing at the stars, reading bedtime stories, popping popcorn, and playing games by the fireplace, are free. And they are the simplest things.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the New Living Translation © 1996.

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