homeless shelter. We would arrive early enough to help prepare the food and get it ready for serving.
Usually, my wife and I would be serving and our two daughters would help get plates and cutlery organized and handed out. I can still remember watching our then seven year-old son hand out the plastic knives and forks to the people going through the line. We still talk about it today.
Think of ways you and your family can give back to your community, your parish, or just people in need. There are food drives, toy collections, and a number of ways that each of us can help. These memories will affix permanent values to the lives of your sons and daughters that will last a lifetime.
4. Consider a unique activity, such as reading together, for a memory maker.
Often, major memories are formed when the family is really interacting with each other as well as others. With Christmas soon upon us, this would be a good time to establish a tradition of reading a story together.
One of our wonderful Christmas memories involves reading the account from Luke’s Gospel on the birth of the Christ-child together as a family. At first, I read it. As the children grew older and learned to ready, they would take turns reading it as well.
There are also wonderful Christmas stories that can become a part of your family’s tradition and a powerful memory. In our special Advent section, you can find some stories that a reasonable in length and fun to share together as a family.
5. The most ordinary events can become the most powerful memories.
Most memories are not planned, they just happen. Often my wife and I found ourselves in the midst of a family activity and realized we were making a memory. This was not premeditated, it just happened.
And, to be honest, these are some of the most powerful and warmest memories you will ever experience. Don’t just plan memories, look for them popping up all around you.
When she was very young, my middle daughter loved green olives. One Christmas someone from the church gave her a gallon jar filled with them. She was so excited but also wanted the gift to last a long time. So, we began holding “olive parties” where she would put one olive on each finger and eat them one by one. We still laugh about it now.
My wife and I are now empty-nesters. We have no greater enjoyment than spending time with our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren.
Whatever legacy we are able to leave to them for the years into the future, memories have become one of our greatest treasures. They fasten us to the past so we can face the future. We are able to remember who we were as well as who we are. And we are still making memories today, memories that span another generation.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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