Give Yourself for Christmas

Want to know one the best gifts you can give your kids for Christmas—beyond the gifts you wrap and place under the tree?

Since those material gifts are probably already purchased and wrapped, let’s talk a bit about a truly lasting gift you can give your children: the gift of yourself.

christmas-dad-2-boys-laughingIt’s all about time together—you being available to them—and what you can do to make great memories with your children. Need some suggestions?

One great idea comes from a dad named Richard. Every year he gives a special “dad gift” to each of his two children. It’s like a gift certificate, and it’s the same every year, but it’s also different every time. He calls it “Day with Dad.”

Each of his kids gets one day with dad to do whatever he or she wants to do. They choose where to eat and what to do—it’s truly their day with dad. They do fun things and they have their dad all to themselves.

Richard says that if you asked his kids later in the year what toys or gadgets they got under the tree, they probably couldn’t tell you. But they could absolutely tell you every place they visited during their day with Dad.

That’s the kind of gift that money can’t buy.

Another idea falls into the same category—it’s still about giving of yourself, but it’s about refocusing your routine and your demeanor during the holidays. If you need to work some days, that’s fine. (Maybe you’ll get to end the work day a little early.) But when you get home, leave the computer off. Set aside those odd jobs. Just enjoy your family!

Maybe you can sit around the tree one evening and just talk together. Ask your kids …

  • “What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received?”
  • “What’s the best gift you’ve given someone else?”
  • “Besides opening gifts, what’s your favorite thing about Christmas?”
  • “What would a perfect Christmas Eve or Christmas Day look like for you?”

In the end, you might actually enjoy the decorations you worked so hard to put up.

Then, resist the temptation to run off and do something else. Just stay there and enjoy one of God’s greatest gifts—your family.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the National Center for Fathering.

We want to hear from you. Are there unique ways you’ve “given yourself” to a child for Christmas? Please share your ideas with other dads by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.

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There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.