Holidays in Your Heart—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By now, in your households, the gentle quiet, peace, and calm that was yours prior to the start of the winter holiday season has been restored or is almost there today. For those with families, we have potentially shared hours of remembrance of days of our youth with those of other generations in our families. If we have not been together in person, thanks to Skype, Zoom, and Facetime, some virtual gatherings occurred as well. Togetherness is always the theme of our holiday season, and the love of family is something we can count on to make our days better.

For many of us, we have blended families at the holiday season and as a wise grandparent used to say, “There’s more of us to love this year!” Others were missing key family leaders—matriarchs and patriarchs—who were central to the location and timing of our gatherings. A grandparent or their generation is usually the top of the pyramid by which people collect and when they are gone, it’s so easy for individual families to scatter to other directions, or think about where they personally prefer to be, rather than always heading home to grandparents’ destinations.

The losses we have sustained do not escape us, though. It is different, and it is unique for the first year we are without ones we count on so strongly to “make” our holidays just like they always were, are no longer with us. Our reactions vary, from being able to speak out loud of those who are new to the family, just as much as those who are missing this year. A family member will often step up and take a role as a leader for a new generation to gather.

Photographs are taken for all the special occasions, and these are the treasures we preserve to pass on and share with future generations to come. In the “old days” photographs were prints placed carefully in scrapbooks, either the paper pages with the little black triangular corners to anchor them in, or behind individually peeled back pieces of plastic that go across the placed pictures to seal them away from the air that could ultimately cause them to disintegrate, fade, or age with time.

At such family gatherings, it becomes so important to get our senior family to sit with us and identify all the people in the photographs (and then write them on the back of the photos) to explain who the people are and where they fit in to our family and friends like extended family. Stories of how people came into the family, when and where, are another integral part of our family history that will be shared forever for generations to come.

Making sure we have peoples’ best recollections is key, particularly when adult memories are sharpest. As newer, younger adults, we often think we have forever to ask our senior family about the days of their childhood, what it was like growing up, and how it seemed that their hopes and dreams were realized. No matter what generation we’re considering—the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y, or Z, there are always factors that impact our lives in a particular decade.

Although there are times when we think we have it rough, it is nowhere nearly as challenging as the generations before us. The problems are equal in emotional impact, perhaps, but in reality, we are better prepared with each passing year to accept and accomplish challenges we face, thanks to technology, opportunity, or breakthroughs in medicine.

For example, in the 1970s in Bryan-College Station, any person with a serious heart condition had to drive regularly to Houston for appointments, cardiac care, all operations, and recuperation before coming home. Today we are spoiled by having a vast riches of the most gifted physicians, nurses, and medical personnel here living and working among us. Equipment is readily available to give us superb scans within minutes, far beyond our wildest imagination at the time.

The next decade we face, even the next six years until 2030 will be filled with new inventions, technological breakthroughs, and solutions we haven’t even considered yet. What will become future yesteryears” we cannot even imagine. It is so important to make audio, video, and permanent records of today, now, to have to compare and contrast against for generations we have not even yet given thought to. Tomorrow’s holiday memories have yet to come, but they will all be based on the yesterdays those older than us have left us as their treasures to remember forever.

As you glance around your living room this week, and you hear the gentle echoes of children’s voices raising when they enjoyed cookies, package discovery and unwrapping, you see shadows of their tiptoeing around trying to catch a glimpse of Santa, if they could, hold those memories close in your heart. Journal about them if you will take a few minutes, and 25 years from now, those children will be sitting in your living room, with children of their own, and will be delighted to have a record of what they were like at “that age.”

Thank you for all your faith and confidence in our family in 2023. You honor us with choosing us to care for your family in one of the most important times of your lives.

The best gift you can offer the future is to record the past, today, in great detail, to preserve history for generations to come. It is truly a gift that does keep on giving. As Carly Simon once sang, “Stay right here ‘cause these are the good ol’ days. These are the good ol’ days.” Wishing all of you a blessed, bright 2024 ahead. From my family to yours, Happy New Year!

Cody D. Jones ‘02

Owner & Community Member

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Due to the construction on S College Ave our facility is only accessible via Dellwood St. Please refer to this map for reference. Dellwood St can be accessed via Cavitt Ave and Texas Ave.

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