The keeping-place

Grady is never more fun than at Christmas time. Alexandria, December 2014

Grady is never more fun than at Christmas time. Alexandria, December 2014

“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.” — Joan Mills

I couldn’t find anything about who Joan Mills was, but she must have had memories of Christmas that were similar to my own.  For me, no other time of year brings as deep a connection to childhood. Perhaps it’s the combination of scents, sights and sounds unique to the season that can so quickly and directly tap into the subconscious.  Or maybe we see ourselves reflected in the young ones who so enjoy the excitement, free from all the cares and obligations and exhaustion that inevitably accompany our adult experiences of holidays.

As Charles Dickens said, it’s good to be children sometimes.  I hope that you can grab a few minutes tonight to sit quietly and think back on your earliest memories of this season.  It’s likely to be a bittersweet recollection.  Not everything in the past was happy, and even when joy predominates, many of us are looking back at that joy through the lens of later sorrows we could not have imagined at such a tender age.

Regardless of whether our mind’s eyes see our six-year-old selves living in innocent bliss, harsh reality or somewhere in between, we can remember and celebrate the child who is, after all, still very much alive somewhere inside us.  I’m thankful to be an adult now, but also grateful to the child inside me who taught me so much, and continues to teach me.  I invite you to join me in allowing that inner child to play a large role in the season, however you choose to observe it, and maybe a little bit of the lost enchantment will awaken.

Thanks for being here with us!  I wish you a very happy Christmas, and a year full of blessings in 2016.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. mike c

    It is seven degrees here. I hope the Xmas eve service is cancelled so that i won’t have to venture out.
    Grandma’s fudges- chocolate-walnut and Divinity are fond memories. You don’t see much Divinity these days.

    • Mike, that’s true about divinity, and I don’t really know why. Perhaps it is difficult to make, or maybe other favorites have crowded it out. I was never all that fond of it myself, much preferring peanut butter and/or chocolate anything, especially cookies.

  2. Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Julia!
    The remembrance of childhood Christmas joy is so strong that in my more recent years, as I was considering moving to Upper Michigan to be closer to more family, I was surprised to learn how few sunny days they experience annually on average. All i remembered was sunshine (and snow, in winter), but apparently my memories of sunshine must have been influenced by the constant warmth of family love! Those days really were “merry and bright!”

    • Susan, it’s funny how our memories color things. I didn’t realize upper Michigan didn’t get much sunshine, but I guess it is not surprising. Some people like the rainy weather, but I much prefer sunshine. It has a definite effect on my mood. I’m glad you had the warmth of love to brighten your childhood.

  3. Chris

    Merry Christmas to all!

    • Thank you Chris! I’m so late getting to these comments, that we will take that as a “Happy New Year” wish too. 😀

  4. Mickey

    Just want to wish you a beautiful Christmas and thank you for your postings. I appreciate the quotes you add. May your new year bring you joyful blessings!

    • Thank you Mickey. I’m so glad you are here!

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