What’s Your Plan for the Holidays, Dad?

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and in case you didn’t know it, dad, last week was a test—or maybe a warm-up. How did you do? It’s good to ask yourself questions like:

“Did I help make the celebration all it could be? Or did I just kind of show up and let things happen?”

If some things could have been better, now is a good time to start planning for what you’ll do during Christmas. And that can be a challenge with all the holiday events going on related to kids’ schools, work, and other involvements.

Even at the beginning of December, life can get crazy.  

Is your cup usually half empty or half full this time of year? (Or, as George Carlin used to say, “Is the cup too big?”)

Here’s a simple reminder to not let yourself get ramrodded by the busyness of the season. You’ll need to be intentional about this. Do some reflecting as the Christmas season ramps up. Take time this weekend—maybe even turn off one of the football games—and ask yourself, What’s my plan for the next month?

You know how it’s going to be; you just had a taste of it last week. Some activities will be scheduled, you’ll carry out traditions, there will be lots of family together time, and emotions may run high now and then. Through it all, you might be fully engaged with your family members, or you might do more sitting to the side and watching.

There are some dads who feel clueless about how to make the most of the holidays, and it’s understandable. Maybe they never saw it in their own parents, or they’re dealing with too many other issues, so they disconnect from their kids and don’t make the most of the bonding opportunities and teachable moments that the holidays bring.

For example, at Thanksgiving it’s natural to talk with our kids about gratitude as a way of life. We’re grateful for food on the table that day and every day—and that theme is appropriate as we move into December too.

What about helping people? Ask your kids, “Who do we know that’s facing a challenge right now?” And, “What can we do to serve and encourage them?” Christmas has all kinds of opportunities to help the less fortunate. Get your kids thinking about ways to reach out to friends, neighbors, and others in your community.

And then there’s good old family time and having fun together. Scout out events and locations in your area where you could get outside together or experience something new with your kids.

Be intentional about these opportunities.

It’s good for your family, and you’ll be passing these healthy holiday habits on to future generations.

Maybe most of all, keep a positive attitude, dad. The cup is more than half-full; it’s overflowing! We are blessed to be dads to incredible kids, and that thought should keep us motivated to do our best for them, even during this busy and often stressful season.

How do you keep your family focused on what’s most important in December? Share an idea or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Action Points & Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

  • What were the highs and lows from your Thanksgiving? What would you like to change that would help create more family time and connection with your kids?
  • Think back over the past few Christmases with the same questions in mind.
  • Get the family together around your December calendar and go through all the various events so everyone’s on the same page. Maybe ask if each item on the schedule is meaningful and if there are other things to add.
  • Set reminders for yourself to smile more, laugh more, and just have fun (especially with your kids).
  • What values are most important to you about the holiday season? Make sure there are events and traditions to celebrate and reinforce those.

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

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.

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