Precious moments during Christmas

Published 2:29 pm Friday, December 24, 2021

By Nathan Rice

“I don’t think you’ve lived until you’ve used icing as glue,” he said.

He had confirmed earlier that he wanted to continue our tradition of building a gingerbread house in December, but that quote let me know it was something that he truly enjoyed.

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It wasn’t much longer before a cookie house, icing and candy were spread on the table, and we were working together to create a house that would stand up, look good and taste delicious. It may seem strange that building a cookie house can be such a special moment, but those who have this as a part of their holiday traditions can understand the precious nature of this time together.

This time of year provides many opportunities for these types of precious moments. Whether it’s decorating a gingerbread house, making cookies, putting up decorations, or another holiday tradition, this is a time of year that many children grow up to remember and parents treasure forever.

There is no doubt that times like this provide wonderful moments and precious memories, but I’ve grown to learn that there are many moments that we fail to realize are precious.

Most of us don’t view the arguments about bedtime, the tantrums over homework, or the times of sitting at the table until they eat more vegetables as memorable or precious. Often, we view these moments as what we must make it through to get to the times when we can create cherished moments.

It’s understandable. Those times aren’t the ones you’re going to see crafted into a Precious Moments figurine. At least I’ve never seen a figurine of a teenager rolling his eyes while mumbling under his breath or of a youngster crying for a cookie while refusing to eat broccoli. We don’t see these as precious moments.

Yet if we pause to think about it, every moment that we are given with our children is precious. We know that not every moment will be enjoyable. There will be times when we get frustrated, and not every day will be a day we want to repeat.

However, when we stop to think about the blessings that we have been given, we will realize that it’s not just the special moments together — it’s the life together. They’re only children once, and time goes by quickly.

I am not implying that we do not enjoy the special moments that arise. They are precious and should be treasured, but I don’t want us to focus so much on creating memorable moments that we miss out on the rest of the special life that we have been given. It may seem ordinary, but it’s not. None of us are promised tomorrow, so doesn’t that make every day with our children precious?

Make as many memories as you can this holiday season, but don’t forget that every moment with our children is precious. When the holiday season ends, the winter nights get long, and improper attitudes or behaviors appear, remember that the most precious thing of all is a life together.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at nrice@abnb.org.