Note: This is a guest post from Matt McCarrick, a father of 3 (and counting), dreamer and writer over at Phosphorus Project.
Don’t look now, but we are in full-blown, Christmas mode! Lights are going up all over my neighborhood and carols are being played on the radio.
For weeks, my seven-year-old son, Noah, has been working hard on his Christmas list. His number one request is a magical robot. Not just any robot. A magical robot.
But before we eat the Christmas ham or open gifts on Christmas morning, we get to enjoy one of my favorite holiday traditions: Christmas movies!
It’s a Wonderful Life. Miracle on 34th Street. These movies remind me of my childhood. I love Christmas movies because many of them have a common hero: Dad!
When so many movies make us out to be the idiot, you can find a Christmas movie dad that will put it all on the line for his family.He isn’t perfect, and he usually makes some pretty hilarious mistakes along the way, but dad is the Christmas hero!
Which Christmas movie dad are you?
Walter from Elf: The Workaholic
Poor Walter. Where did he go wrong? At some point, his career became more important than his family. Instead of building relationships, he was trying to build a company—publishing children’s books, of all things! But with the unlikely help of his long-lost son, Buddy, Walter was able to put his priorities in order and put his family first.
Are you the Workaholic?
What are you putting first during this Christmas season? Sometimes, work gets a little crazy and we have deadlines to meet. But does your family come second to every time? This Christmas, build relationships instead of your resume. The best way to do this? Singing, of course! Because we all know, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” Maybe that’s just in the movies.
Mr. Parker from A Christmas Story: The Provider
Mr. Parker is the traditional family man, the ultimate provider. There was always food on the table and the bills were paid. If the furnace acted up, he jumped to attention! A flat tire on the side of the road? This was an opportunity to take care of his family and improve his pit time for his Indianapolis 500 dreams! When the neighbor’s dogs ruin the Christmas dinner, Mr. Parker still provides with an excellent, if not slightly creepy, Peking duck!
Are you the Provider?
The Provider puts his family above just about everything else. He likes to be home, and everyone knows which chair is dad’s! But when something goes awry, you spring into action! Life may get a little crazy, but as long as you’re around, everything will be ok.
Clark from Christmas Vacation: The Perfectionist
What’s so wrong with wanting to have the perfect Christmas? Clark Griswold had it all figured out. Invite everyone over for a big dinner, light up the neighborhood with your decorations, and surprise the family with a new pool! It was supposed to be the perfect Christmas right up until it was a total catastrophe. Squirrels, Cousin Eddie, and the Jelly of the Month Club. The perfect storm to ruin the perfect holiday.
Are you the Perfectionist?
Are you dreaming up the perfect Christmas? Just remember, perfection is impossible. It’s relationships that really matter. So, go ahead and shoot for the moon! But when your Cousin Eddie shows up, simply count your blessings and go sledding.
Howard from Jingle All the Way: The Fixer
Yes, I consider Jingle All the Way a classic. I’m being very loose with the term, here. But for whatever reason, I love this movie! Two dads fighting over the perfect gift for their son and Arnold in a “Turbo Man” suit? That screams classic.
I call Howard the Fixer. He’s the slow horse that makes a final push at the end to win the race. After failing to get his son the one gift he wanted (and the one thing Howard’s wife asked him to do), Howard gets his act together and turns it around. He comes to the rescue, shows compassion for another family, and becomes the true hero of the day.
Are you the Fixer?
Maybe I love this movie because it gives me hope as a dad. Howard messed up big. He had one job, and he failed. But that’s not the end of the story! The Fixer can always make it right. Have you messed something up recently? It’s time to fix it and become the hero.
Scott from The Santa Clause: The Closer
Where the Fixer has one problem to solve, the Closer feels like a failure at everything. For Scott Calvin, life just won’t give him a break. He’s a 38-year-old divorced father, and his ex-wife is married to Judge Reinhold. And that’s just the start! After a fateful run-in with Santa, Scott’s life gets even more weird. But The Closer lives by a simple mantra: It’s not how you start; It’s how you finish that counts! Just when it seems like everything is going to fall apart, Scott steps up to the challenge.
Are you the Closer?
I think there’s a little bit of The Closer in every dad. We mess up. We lose our tempers. But when it counts, a real dad steps up and saves the day. Does life seem out of control right now? That’s ok. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish! Gain small victories. Plan a date night. Spend the night playing with your children. Start small and finish strong! That’s the life of a Closer.
They messed up along the way, but each of these dads wanted the best for their family. If life seems a little crazy right now, stay strong! Like each of these dads, you can still be the hero this Christmas.
Which Christmas movie dad are you? Let us know in the comments.
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