If you’re just starting a family or if you already have a few young children, you’re probably more excited for the holiday season that you’ve been since you were little. I know from experience how moms can dominate the holidays with food, shopping, and various activities for the kids, but dads should also play a special part as well. In fact, there are just some things that dads do to that make holidays more special. I know that I’ve always loved my dad’s traditions because they generally involved fun things my mom wouldn’t normally let us do. Check out some of these holiday traditions dads can start with their growing families to make a lifetime of memories.

Intentionally Starting Traditions
You may already have family traditions passed down from your parents and your husband’s parents, but it’s ok to start some of your own too. My family always went to my grandparent’s for every holiday, but my husband and I also started some of our own traditions at his request so we could have a few that were separate from our extended family. This was so we would have some time just for us. We continue them every year to take a break from the mad scramble of inevitable family activities and dinners.

Don’t Focus on Stuff
By stuff, I mean material goods, which can often dominate Christmas and even Thanksgiving if you’re into Black Friday shopping deals. Moms can often get caught up in getting the perfect deals and trying to get all the Christmas shopping done early, but dads can help reinforce the spirit of the holiday season and redirect their family’s focus to spending time with each other and enjoying family bonding time.

Saying “No”
Saying no doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. For dads, it can mean saying “no” to working long hours on holidays or working overtime on the weekends. It can also mean saying “no” to over planning. Especially if you have young children or infants, over planning can turn the holidays into a nightmare, and moms often like to try and please everyone during the holidays by overbooking the family’s schedule. Dads can help their spouses by being the one to put a stop to hectic holidays and ensuring that families have enough time to stay home and rest.

Dads play an important role during the holidays, just like moms. However, like many aspects of parenting, dads just fulfill some roles better, or perhaps it’s just because they’re more suited to certain types of roles. Whatever it is, having a dad around just completes the holiday season.