Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fathers and Children at Christmas

By Michael Ray King

Every year you hear it: Someone says "I can't believe they are putting up Christmas trees already." You look around and you know it's too early. But is it? What if you purchased your Christmas gifts BEFORE Halloween? What if you wrapped them, tucked them away in the closet, and focused yourself and your children on what Christmas is supposed to mean rather than all the greed-mongering that goes on these days? What an opportunity!

If you, as a father, are not out attempting to buy the latest fad toy, you will have more time to direct your children into wholesome and highly beneficial endeavours like volunteer work. There are literally thousands of volunteer organizations that gear up just for the holiday season. Most, if not all, desperately need volunteer help.

By volunteering yourself, you send a strong message to your children about what is truly important at Christmas. The idea here is that it's "not what you get, it's what you give." This message is muted by the electronic/apathetic world in which we have encased our children. However, if your children see you getting involved, they will take notice. If you are really good, you will include your children in your effort, giving them the most memorable and life-changing gift they will ever receive in their life.

Don't take the passive way out. Donating money is well and good, but your time, your one-on-one interface with someone in need, is more powerful than a dollar will ever be. The positive effect you can have in this life is immeasurable because once you help one person, they in turn help someone else who otherwise may never have been assisted.

You can go anywhere from Habitat for Humanity, to your local library to any of the national charity collection folks to find out where you fit in the volunteer army. If we continue as a nation to withdraw into our electronic dream-worlds of television, Blue Ray, Xbox and other mind-numbing distractions, we will find poverty at our doorstep one day. It is very nearly there now.

Helping others is a tremendous way to teach your children to give of themselves without the expectation of anything in return. This is a concept fast becoming a foreign idea these days. Our country is becoming more formidably egocentric. The idea that "I come first" is almost a national mantra. Fathers need teach their children how to give someone else their time an effort.

A father willing to take the time to volunteer, and even more important, willing to get the entire family involved, will be rewarded in the future by a child growing up to treat others well. We can only impact our world with our presence. Toy manufacturers and Madison Avenue would have you cloistered away, consuming your time with their products.

The outcry these days about corporate and governmental greed is well deserved. We do not need to follow their example. As fathers, we should teach our children to help those less fortunate. We should demonstrate that we are willing to invest our time to that effort. By doing so, we can impact a generation on a level that no amount of money can buy. When we give of ourselves, we give the most precious gift on earth. Let the greed-mongers run amuck. They are beyond our control anyway. Let's impact our children. Teach them to think of others before themselves. This is the only effective weapon against greed.

So, purchase your Christmas gifts now, and prepare yourself and your family for far more impressive gifts during the holiday season. Give of yourself. Teach your children to do the same. Change the world!!!

No comments: