Year-end Holidays can fly by in a cloud of hype and stress. But they can also make wonderful experiences and memories for dads & daughters and stepdaughters. Here are a five more things to keep in mind for making the most of your Holiday season. (These tips work just as well for sons, if you have them—and for moms, too!)
6. Wrap recycled. Use “pre-owned” wrapping paper, newspapers, old maps, and other paper products to wrap your presents. It’s a perfect way to personalize a present, while cutting down on waste (and saving money). See other “green” ideas here.
7. Remember that simple is “in.” According to a Center for the New American Dream poll, Americans feel strongly that the way we live produces too much waste, and that our high consumption levels are largely responsible for global environmental problems. An overwhelming majority feel that we will need to make major changes in the way we live to counterbalance this phenomenon. So, you’re not alone when you simplify and focus first on the true Holiday spirit!
8. Give to others. Help your daughter decide on a set amount of money she will give to charitable causes this year. If she’s too young to earn her own money, give her some to donate. Some kids even give donations as a gift to a loved one—“Big Sister, in your honor, I bought a Heifer® International goat for Women in Livestock Development in Kenya.” Or “Dad, to show how much you mean to me, I donated to the Girl Scouts® in both of our names.” Some other ideas from dads & daughters:
♥ “Adopt” a family through a local nonprofit. We shoot for one practical (shirt, socks etc.), one toiletry (bath soaps, shaving kit, etc) and one pure fun (game, book, stuffed animal) per person. We have a lot of fun shopping for these people that we do not know, but care about.
♥ Volunteer at a local charity. I devise a “menu” of places in our city that need help over the holidays, and my daughter picks. We’ve done Meals on Wheels, singing carols to seniors, helping at the animal shelter.
♥ Be sure to ask the kids for their ideas too. Often, theirs are the best!
9. Remember ritual. Repetition of meaningful rituals is an important part of building Holiday traditions and instilling positive Holiday memories for a lifetime. Rituals can include attending religious worship services, having special friends and family for a traditional meal, reading a favorite story every year, making a special Holiday morning breakfast, or anything else that draws dads & daughters closer to each other. Take pictures to help remember—and be sure that YOU are in some of them!
10. Nurture the Holiday spirit all year. The Holidays remind us what special people we have for children, family members, and friends. Try to remember and cherish that special feeling everyday. We only get one crack at being her dad while she’s a girl. So let’s make the most of it!
Check out my first 5 tips in last week’s blog!
Joe Kelly is the best-selling author of Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter and 5 other fathering books. He is also Co-Founder of New Moon Girls.