Beautiful Crissy. Anyone else remember this doll from the ‘60s? You turned a knob on her back and her hair would grow longer. She was one of my favorite gifts as a child – don’t remember if it was Christmas or a birthday – and she’s also one of the few I still have, packed away in a trunk. I remember that my mom would make matching clothes for me and my Crissy doll, although I can’t seem to find my favorite picture with her – we both had brown jumpers over a pink long-sleeved top.
Another Christmas my family didn’t have a lot of money – we ended up with electric blankets and smiley-face towels. Those are long gone, but I remember the day opening those presents. We didn’t expect much that year, so anything my parents were able to get for us was appreciated!
I think back on this as I see moms and dads struggling to find just the “right” gift for their children – the latest gadget or game, the “cool” clothes. Most every parent wants good things for their children. I admit we spent way too much on “stuff” for our child as she was growing up – maybe we still do! But think about what I said about the gifts I mention above – I remember mom making clothes for me and my Crissy. I remember the day we opened the electric blankets and the smiley face towels. So the older I get the more I realize that it’s the memories that will carry on with our families forever. When we’re gone, our children won’t sit around the Thanksgiving table brushing Crissy’s hair; they’ll be laughing and talking about the fun times they had with mom and dad and with each other.
As my daughter was growing up, we didn’t travel much. My husband was a career Navy man, so most family vacations were spent coming home to Northwest Arkansas to spend time with family. Which we loved doing, but it was also harrowing, running from house to house to try and see everyone. I don’t have many memories of those visits, just blurs. In 20 years we had one trip to Walt Disney World, one to the Huntsville area of Alabama, and a long weekend in Helen, GA. Since retiring, however, we have tried to make more memories with our adult daughter before we are too old to do so. Our favorite – an Alaskan cruise in 2018. Alaska is SO beautiful!
About a year before we did a Jamaica trip to celebrate our daughter’s (first) Master’s degree, my mom got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital for two months. She came out needing oxygen for life. She was able to make it to Jamaica with us, but as time goes on her and dad’s health continues to deteriorate and they aren’t able to travel as we’d like. Oh how we wish we still had time to make some travel memories with them!
Maybe you think I’m rambling (I probably am). But maybe this rambling has helped you see why my passion for travel is to help families make memories together while they can. Maybe it’s mom and dad needing a little romantic time away together. Maybe’s it’s grandparents and aunts and cousins strengthening their bond through shared travel experiences. And maybe it’s mother and daughter taking one last girls’ trip before the daughter becomes a Mrs. and a mom herself.
So this year while you’re making your list and checking it twice, think about who deserves time with their loved ones and put “Memories” on that list next to your name!!