Christmas brings a feeling of celebration and anticipation for adults and for kids. We are told to focus on the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus - and of course we should. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have some fun along the way. Fun as in - dads helping kids have fun. Why dads? Because studies show that dads play with their kids more.
Blogs and magazines tell mothers how we can make the holidays better, but rarely do they tell dads how to. So, I’ll take a stab at it.
First, dads you have a huge influence over the mood in your home. If you are grumpy, tired, and irritable, guess who else will be? Everyone in your home. So do your best to take charge of your schedule and make room for down time. Take time for yourself to relax, but then take some of that time to do things with your kids. Go shopping for their mothers, grandparents or for needy families in your community. Kids love delivering gifts to children who are less fortunate.
Several nights ago, my daughter and son-in-law picked up items at one church and delivered them to another so they could be sold cheaply to those who are less fortunate. For some odd reason, they were told to pick the items up at 9 o’clock at night. They put all three kids in the car and finished the delivery. Afterward, their 10-year-old daughter pleaded with them to go back to the church and do it again. She wouldn’t let up. (I know because I was in the third seat of the car.) When you bring your kids with you while serving others, they learn that giving is important to their dads. Therefore, it should be important to them. Your service makes a huge impact on your kids.
Second, plan some fun that you ordinarily don’t have. It doesn’t have to be long; it just has to be with you and your kids. Make a fort, go for a hike, go skiing, walk in the woods, even make cookies together. Make the ones that you used to eat at Christmas and tell them why they are special to you. Talk about what you did at Christmas when you were young and bring your memories alive for them. If those memories were painful or unhappy, skip it. Tell them those stories are for a different time.