Just five things.
Yesterday, I got the awesome privilege of helping lead almost 40 pairs of fathers and sons through an Advent retreat.
Towards the end of the retreat, I handed them a piece of twine with five circles on it. I invited them to discuss among themselves 5 things they wanted to do together as fathers and sons. These could be things to do before the year was out or things to do during the very unusual break ahead.
Then, I encouraged them to find a place to hang it (a Christmas tree if they had one) to remind them of their commitment to each other.
This morning, my boys found the leftover circles in my office. I was in too much of a hurry to explain it all to them. As usual, something I regretted soon after. One of them took a bundle to serve as his new “bracelet”. Apparently, he plans to learn a few tricks with his “bracelet” before he comes home tonight, whatever that means.
When I got back to my office, I decided to sit down and write my own list for my boys. Tonight I can share it with them and maybe make up for my hurry this morning.
So what’s my list?
Make a gingerbread house
Make cutout cookies
Dress in family pjs (I already have these waiting)
Watch a Christmas movie together.
Walk or drive to see Christmas lights.
That’s it. Pretty simple.
It doesn’t have to be spectacular.
It doesn’t have to cost money.
It can be safe.
The goal is just to spend time doing something with another person you love (even if they aren’t nearby and it’s done through zoom once again).
So, what would you put on your list? Consider making a list of 5 with someone you love and placing it where you both can be reminded of your promise.
My prayer this morning is simple. Let us be given the grace of intentional presence this holiday season.
Maybe I should make a list of five for God too. What about you?