A few weeks ago, I attended the memorial service of a childhood friend's father. As person after person shared their memories regarding this most remarkable man, what really struck me was that it wasn't his grand accomplishments that people most remembered (and there were many). What people spoke of were his everyday acts of kindness -- along with his coveted Norwegian pancakes.
This lesson in what really matters was further brought home recently as I talked with my daughter about her birthday memories. Do you think she remembers the time I put into making her elaborate organic birthday cakes? Do you think she feels more loved because her party favors coordinated with the party theme? No, in her memory bank, the party that stands out above the rest was the one where all the young guests jumped in our pool, party dresses and all. Now that's a party with the best organic ingredients: spontaneity, belly laughs, and good old messy fun.
When I think of all the choices we'll be making this holiday season (do I spend the evening frantically shopping at the mall, or do I spend that time baking cookies with my child), I hope that what wins out every time is what will fill our memory banks to overflowing -- those everyday acts of kindness, the spontaneous adventures, hugs, and laughter. And if Norwegian pancakes are in the picture, so much the better.