Friday, December 06, 2013

The Dude's Guide to Christmas: Serve Your Way to Christmas Bliss

Darrin Patrick:
We all want Christmas to be special, just like a scene from a movie. We want snow to be falling on Christmas Eve and we want to wake up to a warm, cozy house overflowing with gifts. More than that, we want our families to feel loved and cared for. We want what Clark Griswold wanted: for our families to grow closer over Christmas.

Some of us try to force the Christmas spirit on our families, like our boy Clark. Others of us secretly hate Christmas as evidenced by our lack of passion and planning for it. Many of us are in the middle. We want Christmas to be meaningful, but we aren’t quite sure how to make that happen. Perhaps these suggestions will help you as you try to be the true and better Clark Griswold.

Read the Christmas story
A lot of dudes can get caught up in all the stuff surrounding Christmas. Even though the season is about Jesus, dudes struggle to be the spiritual leaders in their own homes. It can be hard to know where to begin or what exactly to do. Why don’t you just start with the Christmas story itself? Spend time reading the first chapters in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Do it right before or right after dinner. You can even find helpful daily devotionals, like this one here, which we gave out to all the families at The Journey.

Remember your presence, not just the presents
Don’t play on your phone when you should be watching your kids enjoying the stuff you bought them. If you are off from work, refuse to check email and texts from the office. Your family needs you to be all in and totally there.

Become the chief memory maker
Your wife is probably better at overseeing your family’s social calendar, but the holidays are your shot to exert some good leadership. Rather than checking the status of your fantasy football team, find out what’s going on in your community or city. You don’t need to have the best lights in town, but you and your family can certainly drive to see them. Or if you’d rather stay indoors, maybe its time to dust off that old board game. Cue up some good movies or funny YouTube clips with some blankets and popcorn.

Serve your wife
The Food Network and Pinterest might be giving her some great ideas for the house and food, but they’re likely burdening her with unrealistic expectations as well. Let her be creative. But don’t leave her by herself to create. You can help cook and clean. You can entertain and engage the kids. You can get out of the lazy boy and talk with your in-laws. The best leaders are the greatest servants.
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