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12.23.2018 - Free Investing Newsletter Bookmark

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

There it is, in all its simplicity. It’s not “Happy Holidays” in my home, it’s Merry Christmas. It’s the day that umpteen million people celebrate the birth of one Jesus Christ.

 

I’m not going to write about the market today. I’m not writing about the shut down, the intense bickering between the left and the right, the tariffs, the market plunge or opioid addictions. No, today is pretty short and sweet.

 

 

If you are a believer in the concept that God gave up his only son to be put to death for the sins of man, you probably catch a lot of flack.  While the Jews have moaned and whined for a hundred years that they’re the most persecuted people on earth, I beg to differ.

 

In this day and age, a white male Christian is by far the most persecuted person on earth. At least when someone throws hate on a Jew, there’s no shortage of media, academics, Hollyweirds, lawyers, associations,  and snowflakes that will come to their defense in a heartbeat. But who comes to the defense of the elder white male Christian when he’s being mocked, taunted and ridiculed?  The crickets are deafening.

 

It is a holy time of the year. It’s a special time of the year. Frankly I detest the commercialization of the season, and the all out binge to outspend your neighbors, by  buying things you don’t need with money you may not have.

 

Certainly when my kids were little, and their excitement about the big day was overwhelming, we spoiled them with too many “things” also.  But as they got older, they began to realize on their own that Christmas wasn’t all about how many things they could get.

 

One year, as we were still living in the Pocono Mountains of PA, my younger son hit me with a statement that stopped me in my tracks. He was all of 7 years old at the time, and we had all put up the tree and decorated the house. I think it was about two weeks shy of Christmas day, when out of the blue he said ( and I’ll try and quote from memory) 

 

‘Hey dad. I heard you say to Mom that the stuff I asked for cost a lot of money. If buying me those games and stuff means we can’t go see Granma and Pop Pop in Florida again, then I don’t want them”

 

Wow. Here was this little 7 year old, thinking in his head that if I spent so much money on video games, bikes, etc, we couldn’t afford to go see my Mom and Dad in Florida.  It was precious. How many 7 year olds would give up their Christmas gifts so they could spend 2 weeks with their grandparents? I wager some, but not  enough.  

 

It caught me by surprise, I admit. I smiled at him and said that ‘no, any presents you might get won’t stop us from going to Florida again. But thank you for your concern! “

 

That was a long time ago. We still exchange gifts on Christmas, but we don’t do marathons, and rush the gates on Black Friday. We don’t have competitions to see who can stack up the most boxes under the tree. We try and listen throughout the year and glean hints of those “two or three” special things that would really make a difference to each other.  

 

We usually spend  our day “hanging out” with each other. We do gift exchanges on Christmas morning, not Christmas eve. Afterwards, my wife might be baking cookies or fiddling with a turkey for dinner. My soon to be 90 year old mom is usually knee deep in the instruction book of anything we might have given her. My kids and I might go to the beach for a couple hours, or toss the football. It is definitely a “home” day for us.

 

But it’s Christmas evening that is usually the most special for me. When the hustle and bustle of the day winds down, the kids are gone on their way, and it’s quiet, I usually turn off the TV, pour a bourbon, and just look at the blinking lights on the tree and “remember” things. Call it meditation, call it quiet time, what ever you’d like. It’s just a comfy quiet period, to enjoy the meaning of the season in my own way.

 

Most of the time, I reflect on Christmas’s past. The smile I got when my father in law bought a tree so big, we had to cut so much off it to get it in the house, that it looked like something out of a horror movie when we finally got it in and up. We dumped it and got a smaller one.  Four hours of engineering, down the drain. My Mother in law had that “I told you so” look in her eye with a sly smile.

 

Or the time We got my older son a little Honda 50 mini/dirtbike. I just had to ride it first, you know to show him how it works. I hit the throttle,  the front wheel immediately came off the ground, and I dumped myself butt -over-head on the pavement. It wasn’t designed for 189 lb dads. But you know, us guys know it all.

 

You all have your own special Christmas memories and I hope you get some quiet time to remember them this year too. But most of all I hope you all get to spend some time with the people that really matter. Hug your spouse, hug your kids, say your prayers and enjoy the day folks.

 

Mr. Market will always be there, and the problems of the world will be there. Take Christmas day “off” from those issues and enjoy the day. God bless you all.

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