Friday, December 14, 2012
Here's my guest post article for the National Fatherhood Initiative's 12 Dad's of Christmas. I was asked to share my most memorable Christmas and how I make Christmas memorable to my kids.
The Christmas season becomes more hectic as one becomes an adult and a parent. That’s why memories of my childhood always come to my mind first when I reflect on my most memorable Christmases.
I grew up in the Philippines and Christmas season there starts as early as September 1st and ends on the first Sunday of January- making the Filipino Christmas celebration the longest in the world.
I always remember having fun doing my “Christmas round” every Christmas day. It is when I wear my best clothes and visit nearby aunts, uncles, godmothers and godfathers and collect Christmas gifts from them. I would enjoy coming home with a pile of gifts and some cash in my pocket and comparing it with how much my siblings received.
With my own family, we make the season memorable by having the longest Christmas season we can at home. We start putting up Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music sometime mid- to late November and take it all down in January. We let our two kids do simple community activities through our local church during this season in hopes that they understand Christmas is not all about themselves and gifts.
To share some nostalgia, we pop some popcorn and bake Christmas cookies. We usually watch our favorite holiday movies together like A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and my wife’s favorite, While You Were Sleeping.
Christmas is all about family closeness and the birth of Christ. These are two important aspects my wife and I hope will be instilled in our children. Spending Christmas eve and Christmas day with extended family members is a priority as well as attending church and re-telling the Nativity story at bed time.
These are straight-forward demonstrations that share the values we want our kids to remember—not only during Christmas—but all year round. Slowing down with my kids and engaging them in serious conversations about Christmas and it’s true meaning is always a reason to celebrate in our home.
Remember this mom and dad, the most memorable Christmas probably won't be the most hectic one—it'll be the one where you slowed down!