Using the Toy Aisle to Bond with the Kids


Image by G. I. Barrett, II

Christmas, to some, is the best holiday. Hands down, up, sideways — Christmas is the most favored according to the kids I know. Now, I know, I know, you have Halloween and Thanksgiving not too far behind, but we all know that somewhere, deep down inside, we all love receiving gifts. Contrary to what people believe, there are a lot of people who love giving gifts.

Dads and the Excitement of Christmas Morning

Being fathers, we have to be the John Stockton of Christmas gift giving and we have to be smart about it. It’s like we are on the frontline helping Santa. When you want to put a smile on your child’s face, you have to forget everything you DIDN’T do during the entire year, because the only thing that your child is anxious about doing is opening at least one gift that they asked for on Christmas Day. 

Good Behavior

I tell my kids to not only be good for gifts, but also be good throughout the year. It works for the most part and the occasional messy room somehow in the month of December turns into a clean room everyday with me having to utter the command.

Shopping Memories

When we take our kids shopping, we always end up in the famous “toy section.” Naturally, before the Christmas season, you would spend little time there. But when it’s close to Christmas, you linger around in those beloved sections just a little longer. “Why” you say? Because you have to figure out what your kids want. It’s just that simple. And not only that, if you are a father who understands that time spent with children is amazing, then you will know that the time is just as important as the gift.

My Son loves the game section. He creates interesting reasons as to why he needs to go down that section when we shop. I eventually get there with him, as he remains serious in his explanation; glasses cleaned with perfection and as I rapidly ask questions and demand explanations on the latest toy or game that he wants. Not because I know that he will end up with the gift at some point, but I know that the time we will share he will remember. If you mix together this time of year with the quality time spent, you will ultimately end up with small, but important things called “memories.”

My daughter’s heart of gold is transparent, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like receiving gifts. She mentioned to me weeks ago how important Christmas is as the entire family sat and watched one of the several Christmas movies on television. Sure, her Christmas list is longer than last year, but the idea of Happy Holidays means to be…happy.

Drink In the Attention

If you are a dad with offspring wondering about love or presents or both during this Christmas season, let old conflicts and past let downs be a figment of your imagination. You have “little people” looking up to you, smiling and loving your tenacity and will to reach their heart. Merry Christmas!

G. I. Barrett, II, a short story author, novelist, freelance writer and poet, is a North Carolina native and proud father of a son and daughter. He has forthcoming novels, including The Rise & Fall of Love’s Gravitational Pull. Connect with Barrett on Twitter: @therealgeneralb, Instagram: @wordolo_g and Facebook:

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About this Blog

Holiday Dad

 Micki Bare assistant editor/web editor

About This Blog

G. I. Barrett, II, short story author, novelist, freelance writer and poet, is a native of North Carolina. He enjoys being a father and often considers himself the father of the year, every year. Being a dad has its perks. You get to shower your kids with love, food and the occasional evil eye. Every holiday enhances the relationship between a dad and his kids. Each month, Barrett will share parenting stories that focus on holidays from a dad’s perspective. When he’s not running down behind his daughter and son, or becoming a sturdy Stallion horse strong enough to carry two young and energetic cow-children on his back, he enjoys the family aspects of his community and incorporates his love for parenthood. Barrett has been featured in magazines and newspapers and believes painting the interesting parent picture with his “quill paintbrush” will help those who need reassurance that life is full of vibrant experiences.

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