Vital Keys to Happiness: Relationships and Life Experiences

Several years ago, my husband and I took our daughter to celebrate her  birthday at an Alan Jackson concert. She wanted to bring her friend to make it a mini birthday party.
On the way out of the concert her little friend said, “Wasn’t that the greatest night ever?” It was my daughters first concert and she seemed to agree that it was a fantastic time. I’m not a huge country fan myself but I thoroughly enjoyed the concert as well. Alan Jackson is a great entertainer and I know he gained several new fans in our party.
As he was singing the song Drive I thought about my own dad teaching me to drive. He let me drive (steer is more like it) the car on the dirt roads in and around our mountain property. My thoughts traveled to other childhood memories.
I had a happy childhood and what I remember most about my childhood is the experiences; the traditions, the trips we took, and the time we spent together as a family. Yet I remember very few of the Christmas presents I received.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are:

Building a fort at Timberlakes (our mountain property in the Rocky Mountains)

Camping at Timberlakes (we would spend much of our summer camping)

The family trip to Yellowstone and being charged by a moose.

Traveling and having a baby bear stop traffic because he sat down in the middle of the road and wouldn’t budge.

Trips to the pizza parlor and watching the pizzas being made.

Eating shrimp at The Hawaiian, a restaurant that had indoor thunderstorms.

Christmas Traditions

Playing cowboys and Indians. I know it isn’t’ politically correct, but hey we were just kids and Western’s were very popular back then.

The Utah Ghost towns we visited. And the nightmares I had after-wards of falling in mine shafts.

Wading in the creek at Timberlakes.

Several trips to the Moab, Utah

Shopping for the annual Christmas Tree

Watching the Disney Movie of the Week, together as a family.

Going to the drive-in movies in our PJ’s.

Watching Mini-series on TV – the Cowboys, War and Peace, a series about Johann Strauss, and more.

Dancing. Dancing. Dancing.

Visiting Arches National Park, Zions National Park, Bryce National Park, and more…
The gifts I remember getting for Christmas are:

A So Big Doll – 1967

A Chrissy Doll – 1968

Little House on the Prairie Box Set (Year unknown)

Play Hair Salon
As you can see,  I remember much more about the experiences I had with my family than I do about what I received for Christmas.  Happiness is not built out of possessions.  Happiness is a state of mind – but vital keys to happiness and living successfully are meaningful relationships and enRICHing life experiences.
How about you?

Are you spending time creating enRICHing life experiences that build meaningful relationships?

What are your favorite childhood memories?

What gifts do you remember receiving?

What means more to you now? The family memories or the gifts?