One Easy Way To Turn The Focus From Your Child (And You) Back To Other People After Christmas

  • Let’s be honest, Christmas time makes it easy for us to turn the focus on our child and ourselves.
  • One easy way to turn the focus back on other people is to do something valuable with those Christmas cards you received.
  • You’re going to throw them away…just wait a few extra days before you do so.
  • Before you throw each card away, do something meaningful and valuable with them.
  • Each day, take one Christmas card and pray for the person / family who sent it to you.
  • Ask your child what they think you should pray for. Then add what you think you should pray about for them.
  • Pray for them out loud at dinner or bedtime.

A Dad’s Honey-Do List During Christmas Vacation

  • Figure out who or what causes stress for your family (especially your wife)…and run interference.
  • Help your wife do whatever she needs to do.
  • Play with your child.
  • Hang out with your wife…when your child is not in the room.
  • Help your family have fun.
  • Help your family make memories.
  • Help your family share some meaningful moments.
  • Thank God for Jesus…out loud…a lot.

Stop Your Child From Embarrassing You Around Your Family And Friends This Christmas

  • Over the next week or so, you want your child to be on their best behavior when you’re with family and friends. After all, you want their perfect behavior to reflect your perfect parenting.
  • But…kids are kids. And they are far from perfect.
  • When your child acts less-than-perfect, your stress level goes up. And when your stress level rises, well, that’s not good for anyone.
  • You feel like you look like a bad parent.
  • Maybe, and this is not always the case, but maybe, you set them up to act less-than-perfect. You set them up to fail.
  • Help your child not embarrass you this Christmas season by…
    • not keeping them in one spot for too long.
    • setting realistic expectations in your mind.
    • realizing you cannot control other’s expectations of your child. And don’t care about their expectations.
    • giving your child time to act like a child.
    • giving them permission to be less-than-perfect.
    • limiting the amount of time your child has to act like a mini-adult.
    • making it your goal to create special memories…not pretending to be the perfect dad.
  • Set your child up for success. You and your child will have a better Christmas.

When To Tell Your Child There Is No Santa Claus

  • We love Santa in our house. But out of the 5 of us who live in our house, only 1 still believes in Santa. Our daughter learned the news when she was around 8 or 9. Our son discovered the news when he was 8. Now our 5 year old stands alone.
  • There is no magic age tqo tell your child about Santa.
  • So when should you do it? When they’re ready…unless they’re getting old enough to know.
  • When your child asks if Santa is real…ask them what they think.
  • When your child asks how Santa does it all in one night…ask them what they think.
  • Gauge their readiness to learn the news by their answers to the questions. You know your child best.
  • Once your child knows,
    • make them feel like a big shot that they know a huge secret.
    • invite them into the fun of Santa…the gifts, the cookies and milk, stockings, etc.
  • Just my opinion…I think your child is old enough to know about Santa before they go into the 6th grade. If they believe in Santa beyond that, it could get messy.

6 Ways To Make This Christmas Less Stressful For You And Your Wife

  • Q: Why does the Christmas season feel more stressful?
  • A: You have less margin (free space) in your schedule, finances, patience, etc.
  • Less Margin = More Stress
  • Want some ways to make this Christmas less stressful?
  1. Do some things for your wife / family that you normally do not do…shop, bake, plan, etc. Reducing your spouse’s stress will reduce your stress.
  2. Spend the majority of your time with your family. Schedule time to do things with just your family…look at Christmas lights, stay home and watch a Christmas movie, stay home and do nothing, play together, see a movie, etc.
  3. Spend less money. It’s possible.
  4. Don’t say yes to every invitation you receive. They’ll still be your friend after the holidays.
  5. Keep up your healthy habits…exercise, eat well, read, sleep, etc.
  6. Care more about people than stuff.

The “Stuff” You’re Doing With Your Child Is Creating Meaning For Their Future Christmases

  • What is your favorite Christmas food, song, gift, memory, place, etc?
  • You have an answer to these things because each thing holds special meaning in your life. The meaning you feel today probably originated years ago when you were a child.
  • The things that hold special meaning for us often are because of the people we connect to those things. The person, more than the actual activity or object, gives the moment / thing meaning.
  • Don’t rush through the time you spend with your child this Christmas. Some of the activities, events, moments, etc. you’re experiencing with your child are creating meaning for them in the future.
  • There is a lot more happening than you realize when you look at Christmas lights, eat those cookies, watch that movie, put ornaments on the tree, etc.