…And to All a Good Night

When I got old enough, my parents and older sister told me that in fact Santa was not the jolly man at Wyman’s Department Store in South Bend, Indiana, but he lived in the hearts of all as the spirit of Christmas.

Since Santa is a spirit he inhabits those who wish to share love and joy with others. And to your kids you bring that spirit of Christmas to them.

For dads Christmas can be very stressful. Lots to accomplish and not much time. Sometime work places extra burdens on you during the holidays. And family can create stress for all kinds of reasons. (My brother-in-law Rick tells me that “the reason God places us in families is so we won’t fight with strangers”). But I have found the best way to celebrate Christmas with your kids is to do it stress free.

“That’s easy to say” you complain.  But I tell you it is possible more often than not.  Sure sometimes very disturbing things happen around Christmas that you have no control over. I am not talking about those kinds of things here. What I am talking about are the petty things that often happen when families get together that get in the way of joy and celebration.

If you follow my posts you will recall I often mention that as the dad you should set the emotional agenda for your kids. You are the adult, and you need to take charge of the moment. So if things start to go sour for any reason, take the initiative and turn things around. Find a way to change the subject, distract this distractor and put all the energy toward a pleasant time.

Christmas dinner is an especially important event as you gather around the table with your kids. Talk about the Christmas story, about the good people do for one another, about how your family is fortunate to have each other.  If none of these suggestions work, then come up with other topics that create a time of joy and togetherness.

As a dad, be sensitive to the fact that your kids are excited with all that’s going on, so they need a little more patience and understanding. Although this is not a time to say “anything goes” it is OK to take a more relaxed view of things. After all you personify the spirit of Christmas. So when in doubt think of “what would Santa do?”

Whether you are a Christian or not, Christmas is a good time of year for all. For what is celebrated is a feast of love. This is reason to say Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

One thought on “…And to All a Good Night

  1. Chef Boyan

    Thank you Michael. This is good advice for fathers to know. I personally know that its my job to be in charge of my family, becouse thats the way I was raised. However, more and more fathers are coming from various different backgrounds, and especially during the stressful holiday times they might choose wrong ways to act. Some spend time playing video games in the living room, away from any responsibilities. Some drink way too much, loose control, and make a fool out of them selfs, and their family.
    As good Dads we must understand that we need to have balance of responsibility and fun times.

    Wishing you and your family Marry Marry Christmas and a Happy New 2014 Year!

    Chef Boyan


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