Creating happy memories

Nebraska Extension

So many of our happy memories center around the holidays, family traditions or family time together. Take a few minutes to think back when you were a child and the happiest memories that you remember. Was it a special Christmas or maybe a special Thanksgiving meal? Did you go to a special place and do something fun together? What was that moment in time? What made it so happy?

Regardless of the memory, most happy childhood memories commonly center on activities that are shared as a family. Simply being together and delighting in each other’s company is the key.

Second, pleasurable time together almost always focuses on activities that don’t cost a lot of money. Too often we think we have to take the most expensive vacation or buy the most expensive gift to make someone happy, however it may be that truly being together regardless of the cost is what makes these happy memories. These are called serendipitous good times. They occur when you’re simply hanging out together or looking for ways to have fun together.

The creative spirit of family members becomes the reason for enjoyment. It is not possible to program a happy memory or one that will last a lifetime. But a person can take an ordinary event and look for positive ways to make it fun or enjoyable because it’s family time together. Family traditions can be started from the simplest of activities, resulting in memories that last for years. What will be the happy memories your children look back on?

To learn more about Strong Families go to http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs
Source: DeFrain, J., Swanson, D., Friesen, J., Brand, G. (2008) “Enjoyable Time Together: A Journey of Happy Memories”, Nebraska Extension NebGuide
Rhonda Herrick, Extension Educator

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