Friday, November 25, 2016

An Open Letter To Dads On Holidays:

Dear Dads,

If you are anything like me you are already thinking about all of the money which will be spent this holiday season. If you are like me you are already budgeting in your mind how much everything will cost and also taking into account all of the bills which will come due at the end of December. When I begin to think about bills and providing a GREAT Christmas for my children and my wife and on top of that the three birthdays I have in December I begin to get nervous.

I begin to think of all the money which will be spent and I begin to think about taking on more hours at work. I begin to think about scheduling a few speaking engagements at other churches to cover the holiday costs. Maybe, you are thinking of working a little overtime in December to provide monetarily for your family. Maybe, you are thinking of working longer hours in December to close out the books.

May I encourage all of us, myself included, NOT to work longer hours in December. In fact, may I encourage everyone reading this post to shut down our iPhones, power down our computers and spend more time with our families this holiday season. Dads, let us be more like Bob Cratchit and less like Ebenezer Scrooge this holiday season.

Dads, you and I are the gatekeepers to holiday fun. For too long, men have opted to allow their wives to lead the holiday festivities. I believe this is a wrong approach to the holidays. Men... Dads...we should be actively involved in creating memories with our children.

Dads, we should be the ones teaching our children how to put up a tree. We should be the ones checking our local television stations to find out when "Frosty the Snowman", "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" are on. We should be the ones taking the kids to the Christmas tree lightnings and the light displays in our city. We should be the ones taking our kids deer hunting this season. We should be the ones fighting the crowds to purchase that "one" present our children have to have. We should be the ones putting together toys on Christmas morning and inserting new battery after new battery into toys. Dads, let us not shirk our holiday responsibilities by running to work, instead, let us be bold and brave and become involved in the holiday festivities!

Looking back over many Christmas seasons it is not the presents that I remember but the spending time with family that stands out. I can remember driving around looking at Christmas lights or driving through Newport News Park to see the light display or baking Christmas cookies. I can remember my dad putting together all of our toys on Christmas morning. I can remember my dad being a part of the holiday season. The memories that stand out are the times spent with my dad and with family.

Dads, I am learning that my children desire time with me more than they desire presents and I believe the same is true for your children. Your children desire time with you more than they desire presents.

Dads, may I encourage you that you are the gatekeepers to your families Christmas traditions... don't play the part of Ebenezer Scrooge this holiday season... lavish your family with your time and work hard to create memories which will last longer than the latest iPhone or gaming counsel.

Now if you will excuse me I need to power down my iPhone and go set up the Christmas tree with my children.

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