Turning Back the Hands of Time

Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications

Most of us turned back our clocks this past weekend, falling back one hour. This annual ritual marks the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2023.

Some people love the idea while others do not. One thing is certain though, time cannot really go back.

Have you ever wished you could go back and do a certain day or period of your life over? Many of us would answer in the affirmative, yet we know that is not possible. There are no rewinds or pause buttons, and time is constantly moving forward. In fact, as the saying goes, “Time waits for no one.”

I’d like to suggest there is a way to turn back the hands of time! It is through sharing our memories and traditions with our families. As the holiday season approaches, I already picture some of these upcoming family scenes.

Family Photo Albums

Our grandchildren love to go upstairs and retrieve the family albums. As each page is turned and examined, voices mingle together in a chorus of “I remember…”, “That was so funny…”, “I can’t believe you…”, and so many more statements blending together forming the tapestry of our family history.

Certain photos are lingered over for longer periods of contemplation. The photos often illicit conversations about how God answered prayers and brought much-needed health and healing. Other photos are of family members who are now gone. These loved ones no longer sit around our tables but instead, their memories warm our hearts.

As we share anew the memories of yesterday, it is as if we are turning back the hands of time.

Puzzles and Games

Sometime during the families’ visit, the puzzles and card/board games will be brought out. This love of putting together puzzles and playing games is another way to turn back time, away from electronics and screens.

We sit and talk together, building a stronger and closer relational bond. My mother also taught me hopscotch, tiddlywinks, marbles, and jacks. These old-time games have been a joy to pass not only to our children but also to our grandchildren.

What are some of your favorite childhood games? What are some of your favorite family games?

Family Recipes

How many of you use an old family recipe for your holiday meals? Some of mine are written in my mom’s cursive writing on stained index cards. Others are in the Betty Crocker cookbook, complete with pencil scribblings of changes made down through the years.

As the granddaughters and grandsons help prepare the items, my mind wanders back to the time I did this with my mom and grandma. Some questions are asked every year just like clockwork with the same answer given. “Why do we do this, Grandma?” That is a great opportunity to share the past memories, in effect turning back time to an era where that tradition began.

Sharing of Stories

Around the table during the meal or dessert time, conversations invariably go to the sharing of family memories.

One of our family favorites that comes up yearly is when we opened our eyes from the prayer, we found that the jellied cranberry sauce had lip and teeth marks clearly embedded. A quick look around the table found the first grandson with cranberry-colored lips grinning from ear to ear. He is now 20 years old, and we still do not put the cranberry sauce near him at the table. Another time, a different grandson, during the prayer, had helped himself to the turkey leg. This was a gigantic feat to get it from the table to his highchair with no noise. He sat proudly with it on his tray.

When old stories are shared again, time goes back to that moment and the memory is relived once more. What holiday memories bring you back to a previous time? Consider retelling and reliving those memories, and it will be as if you went back in time.


Leo Christopher said, “There’s only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on.” Let’s spend our time on those most precious to us.

May we give them the gift of time over this holiday season. Just maybe, time will slow down a wee bit as we enjoy it.

More to explore

Savoring the Small Moments

I am sure that part of God’s continuing calling on my life is to invest well in the lives of our grandchildren.

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