It’s the last week before school gets out in my area for winter break. And like most, my kids are buzzing with excitement about the idea of getting out of school for a couple of weeks, seeing family members they see not so often, and yes…gifts arriving from Santa. One day a few weeks ago, I’m not quite sure how it happened, we started discussing the inner workings of Santa, his workshop, and lessons that could be learned from the stories about this jolly man in is flashy red and white suit. I thought some of their observations regarding Santa and money were pretty spot on, and I thought I’d share them with you.
You Have to Believe to Get Presents
“If you just believe. If you just believe. If you just believe…just believe…just believe.”–Believe from The Polar Express
Everyone knows that once you stop believing in Santa Claus the stockings stop being filled. It’s common knowledge. What’s not so common knowledge is that success first comes from the belief that you will be successful. This is not to say that some days you won’t have doubts, I mean I even doubted Santa Claus after one morning of discovering stocking stuffings I know that I had seen before in my parent’s closet. However, without that initial belief there is not even a possibility of presents or success. And this especially holds true when it comes to financial success. So if you want to perhaps get out of debt, or want to retire early, or want to pay for in its entirety your kids college education, the first thing you have to do to get started is believe that in fact you can accomplish your goal; you can have the presents you so desire.
Oprah Winfrey perhaps says it best, “You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.”What do you believe you can do?
Learn to barter.
Okay. What my children actually said was, “If you want cookies, leave people a present and they will leave cookies for you.”After I digested what they said for a second I realized they were talking about bartering. When my kids were little bartering was one of the first financial lessons I ever taught them. If they wanted the latest toy or book or gadget I would say to them, “What are you going to give to receive said item?”And the negotiations would begin. We would barter.
As a blogger I have learned to use this bartering tool quite heavily. I’ll write this piece for you if you do this graphic for me. Or, I’ll promote you if you promote me. Or I can work on your back end of your website if you give me a discount on some pictures. Thinking about providing what you have to offer to someone for what they have to offer can be a beautiful way to save money that costs you nothing more than time. Santa sure knew what he was talking about when he started that cookies and milk exchange for toys.
Staying on the “Good”list is important.
We all know that Santa keeps a list of those who were naughty vs. those who were nice. Nice kids get presents, and naughty kids? They get coal. This most directly can apply to your finances as well. Good credit? It gets you that loan you want for that project or new home or college education for your kids. Bad credit? It gets you what anyone who has suffered through the trials and tribulations of bad credit knows it gets you. Almost nothing. Do your best to stay off of that naughty list now will you? After all, Santa is watching.
Generosity is the key to the Ho-Ho-Ho.
It cannot be denied as per the accounts of many witnesses that Santa is a jolly fellow, “He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf…”So what makes this man so very happy that his tag phrase is his laugh, “Ho! Ho! Ho?”I mean he lives in the miserably cold north pole, he and Mrs. Claus never had time to have a family of their own, and I’m sure he must have a horrible crick in his neck having to look down upon his very short labor force all day long. For most people in the world, his lifestyle would take away the, “Ho! Ho! Ho!â€
However, Santa seems to do one thing that keep his jolly on the upside. He spends his entire life taking care of the wants and desires of the children of the world. He is generous to a fault and spends every waking moment working tirelessly monitoring the movements of these children hoping his incentive of presents guides them to the path of good and not bad. I think perhaps the joy he gets that one morning a year when he’s home after a long magical night of fulfilling dreams watching the surprise and delight of little children must be what keeps the “Ho! Ho! Ho!”in his repetoire. There’s a great lesson to be learned here from this jolly man, and I think it is perhaps be generous to others.
What are some other financial lessons that can be gleaned from Santa Claus?
Peace, joy, and love to you and yours this holiday season.
Santa Claus image courtesy of gubgib / FreeDigitalPhotos.net