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Posted on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 6 a.m.

What makes a holiday memorable?

By Angela Verges


Kids pose for annual family holiday dinner.

Angela Verges | Contributor

The holiday season is in full swing. Commercials encourage last minute shoppers to hurry to stores for deals, Secret Santas are revealed, and the kids anticipate items from their wish lists. What really makes a holiday memorable?

A good place to begin is by creating meaningful family experiences. One tradition in our family is to gather the kids together for a photo during our Christmas dinner. The best part for them is selecting a small gift from under the tree.

Of course, though, we want the holidays to mean more than just receiving gifts. An article at everyday provides ideas for making a holiday memorable.

Add a few of these ideas to your usual traditions during the holiday:

Capture your memories - Record this year’s holiday highlights through scrapbooking or creating a photo album, video recording or a journal.

Something old, something new - "Look back into your past and find a tradition your family can carry on, such as lighting a candle in each window or decorating wreaths with old family ornaments." Also identify a practice that brings joy to your family throughout the season and make this a new tradition.

Rich experiences - "The experiences you share with family and friends create memories for years to come." These activities could include baking cookies together, caroling as a family or just watching holiday movies together. Make this experience something you can repeat each year.

Gifts and sharing - Downplay the importance of gifts and place more emphasis on togetherness. "Let creating holiday memories your family will treasure be the greatest gift of all."

There is still time to create holiday memories while the kids are on school break. Museums, arcades and skating rinks are all open during their break. Shhhhhh... don't tell my kids yet, but we're going to take advantage of the Tuesday special at Zap Zone (laser tag). There will also be time made for our favorite games (Sorry Sliders, Clue and Uno).

A house filled with laughter and family is always a memorable experience for me. Although we laugh at each other, we are also laughing with each other.

What makes a holiday memorable for you?

Angela Verges is a writer and mother of two. She can be reached at


Sarah Rigg

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Funnily enough, whenever something goes awry, it makes for better memories than when everything is picture perfect. It helps if you can laugh when this happens. Other things that make a holiday memorable are very specific traditions that are totally unique to each family, even if they're small and silly.