Probably somewhere around fifteen years or so ago, PR31’s nieces were spending the night at Nana & Pappaw’s house at Thanksgiving or Christmas along with us. We had no kids yet, and so we had volunteered to hang with the girls while their parents got “a night off.” That night, we stayed up late talking and playing games. Then we got the munchies. Like chips and salsa munchies. But we had wiped out the stash Nana and Pappaw had rather quickly. So, on the spur of the moment, we loaded them up into our vehicle and drove two minutes down the road to Walmart at midnight to get chips and salsa. Junk food obtained, we drove the two minutes back to the house, and the fun continued.
They have never forgotten that night. In fact, for the next year or two after that, it had to be re-enacted in some form or fashion.
Fast forward to last night. We had taken our own two boys to Nana and Pappaw’s for Thanksgiving, and gotten home a little later than expected. Black Friday sales had already started… don’t get me started, though I enable those stores because they woo me into their craziness… and we had not been able to find one particular $2 item the boys had been looking for.
Two memories flashed in my head as we began to settle in for the night…
First, the memory of taking our nieces to Walmart at midnight for chips and salsa. And second, a speaker at a retreat for youth leaders saying that we should invest as much energy, effort, creativity and time into what we do to make our own personal kids’ lives special as we do trying to make things special for those we minister to at church.
In that moment, I decided to live what one of my favorite signs PR31 makes says… “The best thing about memories is making them.” I told the boys to put their shoes and coats and hats back on because we were going to Walmart at 10:30PM to look for that $2 item. They couldn’t believe it. They got so excited when they realized I was serious. You should have seen their smiles.
I bet they’ll never forget that small gesture. Sure we were tired. No, we didn’t really want to get everything back together to go back out. But it was probably only an hour. And we will never get that hour to spend with them doing something random… and fun… and crazy… and spontaneous again. But we will have that memory to look back on and laugh about. I know because of the chips and salsa run years ago.
We don’t make memories for ourselves, you see… we help make them for others. And in the process, we get them for ourselves as well.
Don’t let these holidays slide by without making some great memories for someone else… Get out there and make them!