This time of year, it's fun to tap into the memories of our residents. Almost everyone has a wonderful Christmas memory to share. For some, it's the year they finally got a toy train set or doll with real hair. For others, it's the first time they got to serve communion at Midnight Mass.
For me, it's the year the tree toppled and the year my family was snowed in at my house.
Christmas is a season for nostalgia, probably because of how the senses interact with our memories.The smell of sugar cookies baking takes me back to the days of Mom scooping off festively shaped cookies onto white cooling cloths. The taste of caramel corn brings the memory of my great-aunt's annual gift of a round popcorn tin. Colored lights remind me of lying under the tree with my brother, squinting our eyes until the lights blended in a kaleidoscope of color.
I know that I'm not the only one with memories like these. Our residents have memories lying just below the surface. Maybe the taste of hot chocolate will bring it out. Or maybe making ornaments.
You never know, but you need to be prepared to catch those memories as they come out.
I hope that this year, you can reminisce about happy Christmases past and make new memories for years to come.