Many of you have inquired since my posts on Facebook about this and have realized a bunch of people either don't live and die by my Facebook posts, or simply did not see how much fun it has been preparing for my usual "25 Days of Christmas" for my daughter Karmen, who is now 8, that I started this tradition with when she started to "get" Christmas after her 3rd birthday.
In the past, it had just been "lovey" notes from Daddy to Daughter and maybe a dollar store "gift" and some candy or change or something corresponding with the date, like 7 nickles on the 7th day.
After some family challenges this year I wanted to make the 25 days much more special and memorable where they truly were gifts that kept on giving and created special memories. So with ideas from a great book, "Daddy Dates," by Greg Wright,www.daddydatesthebook.com, I ran with it.
Having my daughter, Karmen, read out the little red card each day, it is always so touching to see she is far more excited and asking questions about the date rather than digging into the stocking to see the other prizes she had just read on the note. Some of the events she didn't even know what they were or understand what it was so in those cases, I went to the website of the event/activity and printed pictures and info on what it was. Watching her eyes light up has been a gift over and over for me.
I encourage you as single dads, married dads, and just as important for single moms and married moms, to give your individual children the special one on one time they need, to make sure they feel as precious, important and special as they really are.
Some of these dates may not resonate with you either by location or just not interested, but I encourage all of you to make your own special list of dates for you children that they will hold with them forever. Working with youth and asking those hard questions over the years, TIME is the number one gift they want from their parents, it doesn't need to be fancy or expensive, just T.I.M.E.
Here are the 25 dates we have planned. I did not combine special dates for the most part as those would have been done anyway, i.e., birthday, Christmas, Easter, etc as I felt those were a given and would have for sure had a special day planned anyway.
#1 "Daddy Date with a View"; A window seat and special "adult" meal at the tallest building/restaurant at the Portland City Grill with the best view in town.
#2 "Snow Dog Daddy Date"; A trip up to Mountain Hood (as she calls it) with Kharlie (dog) and me to play in the snow, intertubbing, and a snowball fight with hot chocolate and picnic in the snow.
#3 "Would you rather Daddy Date"; being obsesses with challenges and gross things, we will go to the Insect and Reptile museum in Salem where we play, "would you rather" eat that bug or that bug and end the night with a marathon of "Would you Rather" board game.
#4 "Date with Scientist Daddy"; A trip to OMSI to explore the "Body Worlds" exhibit, the many other stations and end with an IMAX movie of choice.
#5 "Fly into the water Daddy Date"; A day at the Evergreen Water Park and Air Museum.
#6 "Enchanted Way Daddy Date"; A journey south to an Enchanted Forest where rides and stories await."
#7 "Date with Daddy Van Gogh"; A painting and art experience at "Color Me Mine" art studio where we can create and paint memories.
#8 "Sandy Beach Daddy Date"; A trip to the Oregon Coast with Kharlie and me, to introduce Kharlie to the sand and ocean for the first time and buy a new kite for those windy days.
#9 "Wild Wolf Weekend Daddy Date"; During one of your long school breaks in the Spring we will go on our adventure north to where the Wolves live at Great Wolf Lodge for water fun and challenges.
#10 "Indoor river float Daddy Date"; A trip to the Ray Crock swim center to float in their indoor river and slide to your hearts content.
Stay tuned for the final 15!
Be Blessed and Merry Christmas!