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NFI Staff Share Their Favorite Holiday Traditions

Posted by Ryan Sanders

NFI staff were asked to share answers to two questions as part of "The 12 Dads of Christmas: 12 Dads. 12 Stories. 12 Memories" campaign. 

  1. What was your favorite Christmas (either as a child or as a parent)?
  2. What makes Christmas meaningful to your family today?
12 Dads of Christmas

Tim Red
Senior Program Support Consultant, Military
One of my most memorable Christmases as a Dad was held on Thanksgiving in 2005 because two days later I was deploying for a year and would miss Christmas with my Family. As I reflect, I remember how happy my oldest son was with his new laptop. And I got a laptop so I would be able to communicate with them—he then spent the rest of the day setting it up for me. It was a very happy day considering the circumstances.

One of my most memorable Christmases as a kid was the Christmas I got Major Matt Mason (an astronaut), his space station and his moon rover. I played with those toys forever.

And last but not least was the first Christmas after I got a full-time job. I had just turned nineteen and I surprised my family with some special gifts. My Family had lived in an apartment since I was in the fifth grade. The Summer after I graduated they bought a home. We had never had pets as kids but now we could and I got my Sister a puppy for one of the special gifts. She was so excited. I also got all of my family tickets to go to the Cotton Bowl. We were big fans of UT and they were getting ready to play Notre Dame for the National Championship on January 1, 1978. Just looking at my their faces was priceless when they saw those tickets.

What makes Christmas memorable for my own children? They cannot come into the living room on Christmas morning until their Mother and I are awake and ready. Then they have to line up in the hallway by age and then I “release the hounds, I mean kids” so they can charge into the living room to see what Santa has brought them. And those moments have been very frustrating for them sometimes as I tease them about when I will release them.

Erik Vecere
Vice President, Project Design & Consulting
One of the Christmases that I still laugh about occurred when I was boy back in the early 1980’s. I was so excited to get one of those football fields that you placed the little football players on and plugged it in. I don’t know what I expected, but I thought the players would do more than just vibrate aimlessly around. I remember trying to have a thankful heart, but that made it really hard!

In my family now, we always go to church on Christmas Eve and then read the Christmas story from the Bible after we get back. We then open most of our gifts on Christmas Eve, but save a few gifts for Christmas morning.

Visit our "12 Dads of Christmas" and join in to share your most memorable Christmas by recording a video, sharing a picture, or posting a comment on this blog, Facebook or Twitter @TheFatherFactor. Use the hashtag #12DadsofXmas to connect!

Topics: fatherhood, parenting, family, holidays, tips, dad

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