The Gift of Remembering


McRib is back at McDonald’s. I am not – in any way – an aficionado of this pressed pork patty that makes its occasional appearance from time to time, but I can say that I look forward to ordering one with my daughter before it disappears from the menu. Yep, one little special of a formed pork patty, sauce, raw onions and two pickle slices on a corn-dusted hoagie bun coming right up!

If you’ve missed the experience, the McRib has become a sort of cult favorite at the restaurant chain these days, making its appearance typically in the winter months when the pork products used to form the patty are at their cheapest.  The genius of restructured meat technology the McRib is composed of 70 ingredients (70???), packs a whopping 500 calories and will nail your diet plan for 44 grams of carbs and 980 milligrams of sodium.  You can’t take a trip down this memory lane lightly…

Back in my single days, my year-end tradition was to wrap up my business responsibilities and head home from Texas to the Midwest for the holidays. Trying to close out a year and make a sales number usually left me beyond exhausted.  The mere thought of an arduous drive by myself was more than I could fathom.

Enter my hero Dad , who would come to my rescue and fly to Dallas to drive me home. It was a great trade: I’d help him finish his shopping and he’d drive my car home so I could rest and safely arrive.  I loved those 12-hour drives we’d make together.  For me, it was the signal that Christmas was really, truly here.

As the miles gave way under the wheels, we’d talk about life, work, politics…you name it! It was a cherished event between father and daughter and I’d give anything to have one more long drive with my Dad. We only stopped for gas, food and personal necessities.  That’s it!  Pop was never about dilly-dallying around when we were on the road.  Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing fancy.  His tastes were simple and predictable and we’d always stop at McDonald’s for McRibs, french fries and a cups of black coffee.

Yes, there’s a McRib meal in my future.  I think my Dad deserves a meal in his memory and some good laughs around the red formica table with my daughter in his honor!

Taking time to remember special memories is one of the most important parts of the season. Those “rag-tag” ornaments on the tree are a mosaic of memories and stories waiting to be told. Every favorite cookie recipe has a reason why that needs to be passed on to the next generation. The traditions you diligently preserve need to be celebrated for the people and places that helped to seed them into your own holiday festivities. Take the time to give and celebrate The Gift of Remembering and make sure those you love know the history and the reasons behind the why of how and where you celebrate.  It is as important as the celebration itself!

The year my daughter was born, I created my own “designer” tree in my dining room that is covered in ribbons, beaded glass fruits and tons of little enameled and jeweled picture frames. Each frame contains a photograph of my (then) infant child with all the people who had been a part of her young life. I refer to it as the “Fruits of My Labor” tree. Each year I ponder whether I should update the pictures, but I love remembering all the moments those photographs were captured. Now, my daughter wants to hear about each picture, too. We can spend hours decorating that tree, remembering and keeping those old moments ever-present for us all.  The moments have passed and some of the people have moved on to their heavenly rest, but the memories will live forever.

Don’t let your holidays just happen. Don’t get into the rote behavior of just going through the motions of the traditions of your celebrations. Live them! Talk about them! Pass them on to your loved ones! Give The Gift of Remembering!

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