How to Make Christmas Memories With Your Kids

Holiday memories
What holiday memories are you making with your kids? (Free Digital Photos)

How are those Christmas plans coming, dad? You have a couple weeks left, and as a leader for your family, you need to make the most of the holidays.

So what does this mean for you as a dad? Is it the time to start stressing about money or run everyone ragged with activities? Or maybe just drift through the holidays like a zombie? I don't want to add more stress, but I know many men are notorious for not being good planners when it comes to social activities, and the holidays are all about that.

Really, a lot of your plans should be well underway, but would you allow me to add a few more ideas? (You can even have some of these throughout the end of the year)

One great idea: in addition to buying gifts for your family members—or maybe instead of that—think in terms of giving a special experience. Like a sleigh ride or hike in the woods. A holiday concert by a well-known singer or a concert in your own living room. Maybe ask your kids for ideas. Do something that makes a lifelong memory.

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Related to that, this is a good time for a daddy-daughter date. Get dressed up and do something special with your little girl—even if she isn't so little anymore.

Same with your sons. You probably don't have to dress up, but figure out something silly or fun to do together. Think active and outdoors, and chances are your boys will love it.

Also, make arrangements to bless someone else by being generous with your money, time and energy. Do it as a family. And this can definitely be one that stretches into the New Year.

Here's one for single dads in the area of planning: Double-check the custody schedule. Be well aware of your dates and times to be with the kids, so it doesn't catch you off guard. You have the ability to decrease the stress and last-minute drama, if you respectfully and cordially confirm all the details with your children's mom well in advance.

Finally, stop and consider: Is your family's holiday celebration reinforcing your most important values? In the midst of all the activity, focus on whatever you treasure most about the season, and make sure that doesn't get lost in the shuffle—your faith, family traditions and so on.

The holiday season will come and go. How will you make it memorable? Again, we have to be intentional about this. If you just let things happen, too often they don't.

Action Points for Dads on the Journey

  • Watch a classic holiday movie with popcorn, hot chocolate or whatever the kids enjoy.
  • Have a family board game night (And remember that the biggest "prize" is time with your kids).
  • Are any of your kids not with you for the holidays? Mail them gifts and other necessary items, and then "celebrate together" via Skype.

What ideas would you add? How do you make holiday memories with your kids? Please let us know in the comments below.

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization seeking to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child.

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