This is an email I recently received from Troy Olds, a business partner of mine. In these economic times I think it is critical to remember why we celebrate Christmas and to not fall into the trap of “consumerism” as it’s overall defining “time suck” during this holiday season. Remember, the people we care about spell love T-I-M-E. I hope you enjoy this transparent fathers look at his role on this planet during Christmas. Troy is an example to us who continue to strive to be Family First Entrepreneurs.
I have to share honestly that Christmas has always been a mixed blessing for me. As a kid it was curious and magic. I'd fall asleep under the tree with the lights blinking above me; warm in my full body pajamas with the plastic feet.
Now, as a parent I have dealt with the emotions of giving my kids a special Christmas like I had. I have dodged traffic around the malls a day before Christmas to round up the 'stuff' that will prove my love and keep me in the game of keeping up with what is expected of me as a consumer.
Every day, is our day to show our love and it isn't in what we buy. It's in what we bring. I ask myself what I have brought to the table for the ones I love. The ones who love me? God knows, that in the past, I have fished the stream of life thinking I didn't have enough. Today, I am grateful that I am able to give back, even if just a little, to the stream that has been so freely given. And I know.......I can give more.
By being more of what I am supposed to be, I become more of a gift to those I love. To those who love me.
In the time it would take to go buy another 'token of my love' at the store I could sit with my child and look at them when they speak to me. I can draw a picture with them and share stories of our day. I can just.........listen to them.
I could wrestle on the floor with them while they are still little and laugh and giggle. Before they are too cool.
As parents we get the small idea of the small painful stages of our children outgrowing us when they no longer kiss us in front of their friends. And I wonder......when did that happen? The times when I have those little arms wrapped tight around my neck when I move them sleepy from the car to their beds.........is almost gone.
Our children are Gods gift to us. How we raise them and who they become is our gift to the world. They will become what they see and learn. From whom they learn it. Today I ask myself, "with whom was my child with today?" I've been gone all day. Who did they listen to? T.V., their latchkey friends? Or, were they simply alone to wonder why I wasn't with them. Did they wonder who's time was more valuable to me than theirs?
This Christmas I am reminding myself WHY this holiday exists. Regardless of ones belief, Christ for me and many is that reason. Rather than wondering where the best deal on the hottest toy is that I can scoop up for my child so they can be cool at school, I am choosing to follow the example of a man who gave it all. And as I fall awesomely short of that example I truly find comfort that I don't have to present my children with a gadget or a doll on any day if I remember the truth about me. That I can be the present my children want more than anything. And by being present they don't need a toy or gadget to feel cool at school. Because they know they are loved.
So today I am a father who looks at them when they speak. Draws a picture when they ask. And wrestles with them while they are still little and know that all their life they will laugh and giggle.
It is my hope that none of us get to big or old to laugh at our follies. Giggle just to giggle. Or forget that just one man, made life so much more beautiful for millions and millions of people.
What work went into becoming a man who could do that?
I'm sure, far more than what it takes for this man to make a difference in the lives of only 3..... beautiful babies.
I sincerely hope you have the best Christmas ever. Be with the ones you love and who love you. Know that you are the gift.............and smile.
I am grateful to you for being a part of my life and for helping me to be a better person in my children's lives. You help me dream bigger. Laugh louder and witness faith manifest. Thank you.