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snowman memory | Spectrum health

A Snowman Memory

Nostalgia is powerful.

It’s a strong anchor especially during trying times. Instinctively we want to reach back to a happier time in our past to remind us that, yes, we have been content and secure and can feel that way again.

Holidays and nostalgia go hand in hand, especially this year when we are having to re-imagine cherished traditions.

One of my favorite Christmas memories was when I must have been four or five years old. On Christmas morning – before we opened our gifts – my mom was cooking breakfast. She sent me to her bedroom to wake up daddy. When I went into their room, there was my dad in bed with his eyes squeezed shut and a little smile on his faux-sleeping face. He was hugging a two-feet tall white plush snowman, complete with a black velvet hat and a red plaid scarf.

Thinking about it lo those many, many years later, I still smile.

The magic of Christmas may be cliché to some or abhorred by others, but there is something ineffable about what makes these moments so special. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that evoke the most powerful memories, like a little girl’s surprise and delight on a Christmas morning at something as sweet and silly as the sight of her dad hugging a stuffed snowman.

Christmas 2020 may not be the same as previous years, without the family gatherings or bigger events.

Despite this, we can still make peace with silent reflection, or share a smile, and celebrate the joy that happier days gave us before and will give us again. We can also hold a moment in our hearts to remember those we’ve lost and those who are struggling. Peace and love for a contented holiday and the hope for a better 2021.

Spectrum Health and Human Services

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