Making meaningful memories  


With any luck, by the time you read this, the thermometer will have dipped below 80, at least for a few minutes. Even those of us who sought the Florida sunshine, soak in its warmth and revel in the thinning of our own blood can find a stiflingly warm Christmas season off-putting.

I remember our first Christmas holiday in Celebration, 21 years ago, when I walked my young daughters to Market Street to watch the nightly blizzard.  Knowing our first holiday season away from friends and family would be challenging, I tried hard to encourage the kids to embrace the new traditions we would create in Florida. My plan backfired miserably when my 11 year old looked at the falling “snow” and burst into tears. What went wrong?  She told me the falling soapsuds only made her miss real snow even more and she then turned to walk home, with me running pitifully after her.

In the years that followed, she never loved our Florida snow, often grinning as if she alone knew the secret of how beautiful the real stuff is, but she always wanted to go downtown and watch the younger kids play in it.  Seeing their fun made her smile and that has become a holiday memory we all laugh about today.

When all is said and done – gifts purchased, wrapped, unwrapped, and parts strewn throughout the house – what we have left at the end of every holiday season are the memories we created. Some can be awkward, like my story, but hopefully we have been able to keep our priorities in check and navigate to happy moments with those we love most. As years pass, we will not remember who gave us the funny coffee mugs, but we will remember how we always filled them with cocoa every Christmas morning, even as we sat in our shorts and flip-flops. The memories we make are the gifts we keep. Here is wishing you and yours a holiday season filled with the best of them.

Eileen Crawford is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Celebration. Learn more at


By Eileen Crawford, MS, LMHC

The above article appears in the December 2019 edition of the Celebration News