This Christmas will be my first as a dad. The last 7 months have been a mixture of great memories, tough lessons, and many, many changes. As I look to the future, I want to the best dad I can be. Right after Hewson was born, a friend gave me one piece of advice about being a parent. He said,
“Parenting is a Verb.”
He’s right. If I want to be the best dad I can be I have to be INTENTIONAL about it. Parenting doesn’t happen through osmosis.
As a dad, one of the things I want to do is create lasting spiritual memories for my family. The best time of the year to create these memories might just be the Christmas season. Over at The Resurgence Blog, Mark Driscoll offered dads a 16 point Christmas blueprint for making lasting memories this season. These challenges will help dads step outside of the poor expectations that this culture has for us. If you want to grow your family closer to your Heavenly Father and to one another, try a few of these tips.
My son will be a little over 7 months old this Christmas. I am challenging myself to modify a few of these suggestions this year for my little family. I have the holiday music on the iPod and I have a few thoughts about Christmas eve and morning but I’m going to hold off on the cider for my little one this year. What about you? What are you doing this year to create spiritual memories for your family?
16 Daddy Christmas Tips by Mark Driscoll
1) a plan for the holidays to ensure his family is loved and memories are made. Dad, what’s your plan?
2) to check the local guides for what’s going on to make fun holiday plans for the family.
3) to carve out time for sacred events and experiences to build family traditions that are fun and point to Jesus. Dad, is your calendar ready for December?
4) to not let the stress of the holidays, including money, cause him to be grumpy with Mom or the kids. Dad, how’s your joy?
5) to give experiences and not just gifts. Dad, what special memories can you make this holiday season?
6) to manage the extended family and friends during the holidays. Dad, who or what do you need to say “no” to?
7) to ensure his family is giving generously during the holidays. Dad, who in need is your family going to adopt and bless?
8) to schedule a big Christmas daddy date with his daughter. Dad, what’s your big plan for the fancy daddy date?
9) to schedule guy time with his son. Dad, what are you and your son going to do that is active, outdoors, and fun?
10) to help Mom get the house decorated. Dad, are you really a big help to Mom with getting things ready?
11) to ensure some holiday smells and sounds. Dad, is Christmas music on the iPod, is the tree up, and can you smell cookies and cider in your house?
12) to snuggle up and watch some fun shows with the kids, especially the little ones. Dad, is the DVR set?
13) to take the family on a drive to see Christmas lights while listening to music and sipping cider. Dad, is it mapped out?
14) to help Mom get the kids’ rooms decorated. Dad, do the little kids get lights or a small tree in their room?
15) to read about Jesus and pray over his kids. Dad, how’s your pastoral work going with each of your kids?
16) to repent of being lazy, selfish, grumpy, or just dumping the holidays on Mom. Dad, are you a servant like Jesus to your family?