Focused On Creating New Memories

by Yvonne Chase on December 16, 2020

In a recent interview with Elle magazine, singer Mariah Carey who is known for her over-the-top Christmas decorating and celebrating was asked about her deep love for this time of the year. Here’s what she said:

“While many people who love this time of year are often trying to re-create early memories, Carey says her embrace of the season is a corrective to the Christmases she had growing up. “I think it’s just that longing that I had as a child, that I always wanted things to be perfect for the holidays. And they never were,” she says. “It was always somebody ruining the moment, always these dysfunctional family members who came around and spoiled everything. And so, I just made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to allow that to happen anymore.” Instead, she’s focused on creating new memories.”

Mariah Carey

And so am I. That’s why I went out this year and bought the biggest tree I could find that fits nicely in my space (image below). From here on out, it’s all about creating new traditions and new memories as I create my new life. Like Mariah, I don’t have any early memories to re-create and I always wanted things to be perfect for the holidays. They weren’t!

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2020 Christmas Tree under the Golden Arch

My childhood is over, and the dysfunction of my adult life is behind me. I can’t change any of it. What I can do from this day forward is create the life and Christmases I want. As an adult, it is my responsibility to reverse the dysfunction of the past and that’s exactly what I’m doing this year.

The first tree I ever put up was a Douglas fir. I remember it well. It was a fat-tree that looked pregnant. I don’t like skinny trees. The fuller the better with no open spaces. This year, I was on a mission to find the same. My friend Jennifer and I found it at Home Depot and then we went and bought a boatload of decorations. She thought I bought too many. No such thing!

As Christmas music blared in the background, we hung each ornament one by one until it all came together. Mr. Douglas or Sir Douglas as we call it looks amazing! All 7 ½ ft of it stand tall underneath a golden arch in the living room. That’s how you turn lemons into lemonade. Last Christmas was not what I wanted it to be. This Christmas is starting off quite nicely.

Sadly, so many people don’t celebrate the holidays or create new moments in life because of bad memories from their childhood and even their adulthood. Not I said the duck! The devil will not win in my life! As long as I’m alive, I have the power to create change and that’s exactly what I plan to do from here on out.

2020 was a doozy! There were days when I wasn’t sure I’d make it yet even with the odds stacked against me, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Not once did I ever think of giving up. That’s worthy of a celebration.

Here’s what I know for sure; I can do hard things. Some people buckle and fold when life gets hard. Not me. That’s one thing I learned about myself this year. I square my shoulders, straighten my back, plant my feet solid, and fight my way through.

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If you knew the whole story then you will know why this tree, this season, and this time of the year mean everything to me. Additonally, I’m beyond proud of myself for all I accomplished in the last three months. I worked hard, I applied myself, and it paid off exponentially. Everything I went through in those ten months of torture was used in this season to create success. One day I’ll share the details. Now that I have some time off, I plan to relax and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

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In closing, I leave you with two questions from Pastor Steven Furtick about how to define 2020. He asks:

“Will you label 2020 by what was buried or by what was born?”

“Are you focused on the facts of 2020 or God’s favor?”

Pastor Steven Furtick

The facts are we lived through an unprecedented worldwide pandemic that flipped us on our heads. We’re still living in it as cases rise, cities lockdown, and toilet paper hoarders empty the shelves. Despite all the bad news that comes with 2020, and the year is not over yet, God remains faithful. So, to answer his questions, I am 100% focused on the favor of God and I’m focused on all he’s birthing in me. What about you?

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Something to think about…

What say you? Tell me something you learned about yourself in 2020? How will you label this year? Where is your focus?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

P.S. you can watch the full message below:

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Trina Taylor December 16, 2020

Your tree is beautiful. Love the hanging ribbons. Im so glad you’re creating new memories and you didn’t let the past sour the present. That’s inspiring!

Merry Christmas Yvonne. Wishing you the best.

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Michele Morin December 17, 2020

I did the same thing when we were first married. We moved forward into new unique traditions for our family, and I am so glad you are finding that same good path!

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Rebecca Jo December 17, 2020

I love me some Pastor Furtick.. his words always hit me in teh heart.
& yes, we never realize we can do hard things – until we DO. Love that.
I really struggle with Christmas / the holidays – & I always need the reminder that they will be what I make them to be… Thank you for that!

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Yvonne Chase December 17, 2020

@Rebecca,

Pastor Furtick encouraged me greatly during this rough season of my life. I tune in live every Sunday. And yes, our life including holidays will be whatever we make them be. It’s completely up to us. We can cry over spilled milk and stay there or we can dry our tears, mop up the milk, and pour a new glass.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Focused On Creating New MemoriesMy Profile

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Holly Jahangiri December 17, 2020

Good morning, Yvonne, and thank you for visiting my blog and chatting with me there for a moment, this morning!

I seem to have the opposite problem – I had plenty of happy Christmases, as a kid. It has taken me years to accept that the “perfect Christmas” is not the recreation some “perfect Christmas past” (which are sometimes only “perfect” for being seen through the eyes of a child who has no responsibilities and no clue what went into creating that “perfect” experience).

I remember feeling guilty over procrastinating too long in finding stocking stuffers one Christmas. I mean – not so much “procrastinating” as “forgetting all about the stockings till Christmas Eve.” My daughter was three or four, I think. I ran out ON Christmas Eve, near midnight, with my brother in law, in search of SOMETHING, ANYTHING… came home with a pink-haired troll doll and some fruit from the local Quik Trip. Not one of my finer moments. I apologized to my now-grown daughter, and reminded her that moms sometimes fall short of their own expectations. (She’s a mom, herself, now – she knows – but like me, she tries!) I was shocked: She remembered that troll doll and thought it was a wonderful Christmas.

I think what makes Christmas “perfect,” really, is acceptance of our imperfections and spending it with loved ones (or at least calling them) and giving them that grace as well. Letting them know that they are loved.

My daughter’s version of “the perfect tree” is a bit Martha Stewart. Her trees, each year, are gorgeous. Mine is to dig out every mis-matched ornament from years gone by (I only wish I’d made sure to add a new one or two or three EACH year, to gradually add in the new to fill the spaces left by the ones too worn or broken to keep) to “glug up” the tree. Then to light it so that it glows and warms the room.

Whatever “perfect” means to you, I’m glad you know now how to create it for yourself – not to let a dysfunctional past claim your joy, and not to let ideas of unrealistic “perfect Christmas past” make you feel you’ve fallen short of the mark. Merry Christmas!
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…57 Things I’m Grateful For in 2020My Profile

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Yvonne Chase December 20, 2020

@Holly,

You nailed it. Celebrating Christmas in a way that’s perfect for you and me is what matters. For some, that means not celebrating Christmas and that’s okay too.
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Catherine Sokolowski December 17, 2020

Sometimes we get so stuck in going along with life as it is that it takes a post like yours to reminds us that we have the ability to change things for the better, with God’s help.
Thank you for this inspiring post!
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Yvonne Chase December 17, 2020

@Catherine,

Yes, we do. As long as we have breath and air in our lungs, we can change things for the better with God’s help.
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Donna December 17, 2020

Thank you, Yvonne! I have many bad memories (Like Mariah) from my childhood and even more from my adult life. The thing is at some point I loved Christmas, then that all changed through abuse, neglect and dysfunction. I’m on my way to being healthy and want to create new memories. I was a bit discouraged due to someone rebuking me for that desire recently until I read your article. Thank you!

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Yvonne Chase December 17, 2020

@Donna,

Your comment is so upsetting to me. How dare anyone rebuke you for wanting to create a better life for yourself?

One of the things I learned this year is people want you to stay in dysfunction because it keeps you away from the great life God has for you.

I am rooting for you and hope you find the courage to get as far away from anyone who rebukes you for wanting a better life. Know this, God did not create you to be abused, neglected or live in dysfunction.
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Jeanne Takenaka December 18, 2020

Yvonne, I love your determined spirit. Your tree is beautiful! We have to be intentional when we want to see change in our lives, and you’ve laid out many wonderful reasons why we should embrace new traditions. Thank you for that.

We actually haven’t set up a tree in a few years because we’ve traveled to visit my husband’s family. My MIL has been dealing with illness, and we want to see her when we’re able. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Emmanuel: When It’s Hard to Remember God is With UsMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase December 20, 2020

@Jeanne

Thank you. I just echoed similar sentiments to a friend who wants to see changes in his life. We have to be intentional. And we have to want it bad enough to do what it takes to make it happen.
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Laurie December 18, 2020

Your attitude about Christmas is inspiring, Yvonne. Looking ahead and living in the present is so much more productive than wallowing in disappointments from the past. Having confidence in yourself to be able to do hard things is a good way to move past the past. Wonderful encouragement!
Laurie recently posted…What Good Is Freedom?My Profile

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Yvonne Chase December 20, 2020

@Laurie,

Thank you. No time for wallowing. The past is over. I can’t get it back nor can I change it. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep pressing on ahead.
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Lisa notes December 18, 2020

I know you are strong and that you will make it through! Looking ahead and not behind, I also am sure that you’ll make wonderful new memories and traditions going forward. You’re an inspiration, friend. Merry Christmas!

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mariel December 28, 2020

yes, this reminds me of what Paul said in Philippians 3: “But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Great thoughts, thank you for sharing this on the link up.
mariel recently posted…grasping peace for the new yearMy Profile

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Corinne Rodrigues January 6, 2021

I know it’s well past Christmas and I should have got here sooner, Yvonne, but what an inspiring post this is. I’m so happy that you are creating new memories around Christmas. I think I’ll copy you on this for Christmas 2021.
The questions you shared are also really thought provoking. Somehow, despite all it brought, I can only see 2020 as a year of great blessing.
So glad we’re connected! ♥
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Starting On A Good NoteMy Profile

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