During my daily stroll through the blogosphere, I happened upon this unique post by a pastor and a dad. I though the list was pretty durn good, so I'm re-posting it here. You can visit this pastor's blog at www.resurgence.com. Consider copying and pasting this list into an email and sending it to any dad in your life who might need a Christmas spirit 'jump start'. I think this list can also be translated as 16 Mommy Christmas Tips.
16 Daddy Christmas Tips by Pastor Mark Driscoll
- a plan for the holidays to ensure his family is loved and memories are made. Dad, what’s your plan?
- to check the local guides for what’s going on to make fun holiday plans for the family. In Seattle it’s here.
- to carve out time for sacred events and experiences to build family traditions that are fun and point to Jesus. Dad, is your calendar ready for December?
- to not let the stress of the holidays, including money, cause him to be grumpy with Mom or the kids. Dad, how’s your joy?
- to give experiences and not just gifts. Dad, what special memories can you make this holiday season?
- to manage the extended family and friends during the holidays. Dad, who or what do you need to say “no” to?
- to ensure his family is giving generously during the holidays. Dad, who in need is your family going to adopt and bless?
- to schedule a big Christmas daddy date with his daughter. Dad, what’s your big plan for the fancy daddy date?
- to schedule guy time with his son. Dad, what are you and your son going to do that is active, outdoors, and fun?
- to help Mom get the house decorated. Dad, are you really a big help to Mom with getting things ready?
- to ensure some holiday smells and sounds. Dad, is Christmas music on the iPod, is the tree up, and can you smell cookies and cider in your house?
- to snuggle up and watch some fun shows with the kids, especially the little ones. Dad, is the DVR set?
- to take the family on a drive to see Christmas lights while listening to music and sipping cider. Dad, is it mapped out?
- to help Mom get the kids’ rooms decorated. Dad, do the little kids get lights or a small tree in their room?
- to read about Jesus and pray over his kids. Dad, how’s your pastoral work going with each of your kids?
- to repent of being lazy, selfish, grumpy, or just dumping the holidays on Mom. Dad, are you a servant like Jesus to your family?
Would you add anything to this list? If so, what?
What are you doing to encourage the dads in your life?
I think about the Gospel of Matthew and the story of the birth of Jesus that we celebrate this time of year, and frankly, should celebrate throughout the year. In Luke, we really hear more of the female perspective, the story of Mary. In Matthew, we see the struggle that Joseph had with this pregnancy and the uncertainty of the future. Jospeh could have walked away, but he was obedient to the Lord and listened to the angel, taking Mary as his wife and Jesus, the son of his heart. Joseph loved Mary and his expected son. I wish we could have known more about Joseph because he seems to have been a pretty good father. We know that Joseph was troubled with the faith challenging perdicament of Mary's conception, and yet he had the character and integrity to protect her from harm, including protecting her from public backlash. Joseph would one day teach Jesus the trade of his hands, but he would also teach Jesus the depths of his faith. It's is said that Joseph was faithful to his spiritual practices and made sure to share them with Jesus.
As parents, what are we sharing with our children about what this time of year really means?
Are we showing them through our words and actions that Christmas is about presents and consumption and needless wanting for things that never fulfill? Or, are we instilling in our children, our spouses, our extended families, our friends, and ourselves, that Christmas is about the greatest gift of all. The Christmas present we received and never deserved is the one that would one day suffer and die for us. This is a present to be celebrated. There is no great proof of God's love for us and attentiveness to all of our needs, than the all encompassing gift of Jesus.
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, "God with us."
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.