I hear someone outside my bedroom.  Fingers appear under the door as they push a scrunched up piece of paper into the room. There is a giggle and then the sound of footsteps retreating down the hall. I tumble out of bed and retrieve the message. On the paper are the scrawled words:

I found the Wise Men at 6.05 am, Sophie

I smile as I open the door. “You win, Sophie!” I shout down the hall.

It is Advent and the Three Wise Men have started their journey. They are following the Star and are on their way to Bethlehem. They are seeking Baby Jesus. Where will they stop before reaching their destination? No one is certain. Today the Three Kings are resting in a concealed spot behind the TV. Tomorrow they could be on the window sill peering out at the rain. Perhaps they will climb high above us onto a blade of a ceiling fan. They might journey into the kitchen and be discovered sitting in a saucepan or maybe they will venture into the fridge seeking relief from the summer heat. Yes, no one knows for sure where the Three Wise Men will be found on any of the days leading up to Epiphany.

Each day it is a race to find the location of the Magi. Each child wants to be the first to report, “I’ve found the Three Wise Men!” Sometimes someone will write me a note stating the time of discovery. This can be used as evidence if a friendly dispute arises. Of course, winning isn’t everything. The Magi will remain stationary long enough for each child to find them. And coming second or third or fourth or…is almost as good as being first. After all there are no prizes to win. It’s just for fun.

I am amazed at how much our children enjoy this game. Even our young adults join in though they might complain, “Hey Mum! You moved the Wise Men while I was at work. Is that fair?” Mention Advent and someone will shout, “The nativity scene! The Jesse tree! The wreath! The Three Kings!” Our children’s eyes light up as they remember past years as we’ve prepared for the Christmas season. Yes, they have many enjoyable memories of family traditions and can’t wait to repeat them all over again.

Have you been following the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure? Yesterday these words on the Holy Heroes site caught my attention:

Your children will remember these traditions for the rest of their lives.

They will establish beautiful family memories.

And when they grow up and encounter difficult times or if their faith becomes weak, the memory of the love around these traditions may be just what leads them back to God.

A few weeks ago, I was pondering the question: does it really matter if we forget what happened in the past? (Capturing Memories Forever) Perhaps memories are important after all.

Recently my friend Leanne, sent me a touching story containing these words:

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

This Advent and Christmas we shall be taking lots of time to make precious family memories. I hope these memories will bind us close now, and will draw us back together if any of us should ever stray.

And because I know my memory is not very reliable, I’d better keep writing in that journal of mine. Who knows how all those captured memories will be used in the future. They could prove to be very valuable indeed.
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