I'm Unplugging For The Memories This Christmas

I'm Unplugging For The Memories This Christmas, You Should Too

Enjoy your time with loved ones.

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We have had an obscene amount of technology within our reach for quite some time. People everywhere are constantly on their phones looking at photos, talking to people across the country etc. in seconds with the touch of a button. While all of that is great, it takes away the value of being with someone face to face and making memories.

I don't know about you, but I don't want every Christmas or holiday memory to have holes in it because I was busy uploading photos or posting a status update about the food. I want to be able to look back on time with my family and remember as much of it as I possibly can.

Have you ever noticed that you can't remember an entire section of your day or what you may have discussed with someone because you had your phone in your hands? I'll admit that sometimes I blank on an entire day's events because I was using my phone while everything was going on.

Sometimes I'll be on my phone so much it dies halfway through the day and then I am visibly lost for the rest of the day because I've missed too much of what's going on to catch up, but I no longer have my phone to engage with. Then it's just awkward.

The more I think about this the more the idea of leaving my phone at home or turning it off on Christmas appeals to me. This is the second Christmas I will be spending with my boyfriend and to be honest I don't remember much of our first Christmas together because we were on our phones the entire time.

That combined with the fact that he's spending Christmas with my family for the first time, I don't want to miss out on what could be incredible memories and moments. I want to be able to look back on my holiday and remember all of it.

I know that sometimes in holidays or family gatherings, there can be conflict. Sometimes that weird uncle that no one likes says something out of left field that leaves grandma reeling. It happens. Who wouldn't want the safety and security of their cell phone to hide behind in that time?

But sometimes it's the hard moments that make or break a family. Those are the things I want to be able to remember. All of it. The big and the small, the good and the bad. Christmas is about magic and joy and togetherness. Not recording it all just so you can kind of remember it a few years later because you didn't actually live it.

I want to remember everything so that years from now when I have children or maybe when I'm by myself thinking about the holidays, I can relive the memories and really reminisce through my own point of view, not through a cellphone.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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