"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."-Maya Angelou
Sometimes we need to borrow other people's words when our own fail us. Every holiday season my goal is to create tangible memories for my children that they can reflect upon and draw from into their adult lives. You know the type of memories I'm talking about. Everyone sitting around the fire, gazing at the tree, drinking eggnog and singing Christmas carols. But the truth is the moments are never this perfect, more often defined by chaos and extended family strife than Norman Rockwellian holiday fantasies.
So, when I think about Angelou's quote and how to apply it to my family's life, I realize it's a lot simpler than creating the perfect holiday gathering or moment. It's about lingering hugs, telling my children how lucky I am to be their mother. It's about unsolicited kisses on their cheeks and moments during the holiday season when I simply stop my normally manic life to listen to them or spend time with them doing anything fun.
I know this to be true you see because my mother is everywhere in my Christmas. I can still remember my excitement seeing her in her tacky Christmas robe when I was 5 and when I was 45. She wasn't a very good cook, didn't care much for holiday decorations or wrapping presents, but I will never forget how she made me feel on Christmas - excited, special, loved beyond words.
Hopefully my kids won't remember my cooking or my sometimes sappy words of wisdom, but if they remember how I made them feel, I've done my job ...
Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.