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3 Things to Think About This Time of Year

1. One of those is memories. 
2. It’s an opportunity for us to count our blessings.
3. Hope for the future.
Plus a reading from the Book of Luke, Chapter 2 verses 1 through 20
and a reading of “Twas The Night Before Christmas”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at Keystone Financial and The Wiser Financial Advisor.

Transcript

Wiser Financial Advisor –  Christmas 2022

Hi, Everyone. Welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor with Josh Nelson, where we get real, we get honest, and we get clear about the financial world and your money. This is Josh Nelson, Certified Financial Planner and founder and CEO of Keystone Financial Services. Let the financial fun begin!

Well, Merry Christmas to you and your family. This is oftentimes a fun time of year, right? Lots of music and cookies and parties and movies and all kinds of stuff related to the time of year. We tend to not have a Christmas tree up in our living room in the summer, right? 😊

Three things come to mind when I think about this time of year. One of those is memories. A lot of us think back to our childhood or maybe when our kids or grandkids were little and the fun traditions we had. My wife and I were talking about this earlier today and comparing notes on what our Christmas trees looked like or what we remember them looking like from when we were kids. We were talking about the different ornaments and what was on top of the tree.

A funny story popped into my mind that I hadn’t thought of for years. We were at my grandma’s house and she liked to have tinsel on her tree but we weren’t used to that. We brought our cat with us to Grandma’s house and our cat decided that it would be a good idea to eat the tinsel. We didn’t notice until it came out on the other side a couple of days later. Our cat’s name was Mitten and she was running around all over Grandma’s house. It was probably the funniest thing that I’ve ever seen on Christmas, with everybody chasing the cat, trying to catch it. An adult at some point caught the cat and was able to get the tinsel extricated, but the whole thing was hilarious.

I hadn’t thought of that for years and years. There are a lot of fun memories. And of course, some of the memories are sad, right? As we start to think about people that aren’t here anymore, like my grandma. Some memories can make us get emotional. That’s a human thing. It’s important that we have memories. We’re intentional about creating memories because in the end, when we are much older, at the end of our lives reflecting back on things, we’re probably gonna be thinking back to those memories of what we got to do and people we interacted with or served along the way.

The second thing I think of at this time of year is that it’s an opportunity for us to count our blessings. My friend Pitbull says that any day we’re above ground is a good day. Life can be hard, so it’s not to gloss over the fact that there’s a lot of injustice in the world and pain and suffering. All kinds of things happen that are tough, right? And if we focus on that, this world seems to be a pretty dark place. But we could also focus on blessings. As long as we have breath in our lungs, there’s an opportunity to appreciate what we have and to be able to give back in some way, even if we’re in circumstances that aren’t our favorite. We can pause a little to count our blessings, because there certainly are many, we just have to stop and look for them.

The third thing I think about at this time of year is hope for the future. You may believe differently than I do, but my family and I celebrate the original meaning of Christmas, which is celebrating the birth of God’s son, Jesus. One of the original names of Jesus from the prophets was Emmanuel, which means with God. And we believe God sent his son to die for us, to give us hope, because we needed a savior. We needed a savior and we didn’t even realize it, probably. God gave us a gift on Christmas in that Jesus was born. He came to be with us and to save us.

It’s a tradition in our home to read the Christmas story from the Bible and also The Night Before Christmas. In the spirit of that tradition, I will be reading from both this year for you, our listeners. I’m also doing this for my family, especially my kids, because we don’t always get to be together every year on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, hearing this will put a smile on somebody’s face, maybe even if it’s many years from right now. So this is a gift to my family and to you.

From the Book of Luke, Chapter 2 verses 1 through 20:. In those days, Caesar Augustus issued the decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Cornelius was governor of Syria and everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David. Because he belonged to the house and line of David, he went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An Angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified, but the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people today. In the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the Heavenly Host appeared with the Angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on Earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the Angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned to glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

You may not be aware of this, but almost 200 years ago, 199 years ago to be exact, on December 23rd this poem was published called The Night Before Christmas. Originally it was called A Visit from Saint Nicholas, written by Clement Clarke Moore. Along the way it got changed a little and now we call it The Night Before Christmas. Here it is!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, and God bless.

We love feedback and we’d love it if you would pass it on to me directly at josh@keystonefinancial.com . Also, please stay plugged in with us, get updates on episodes and help us promote the podcast by rating us and also subscribing to us at your favorite podcast service.

This episode has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors. Investment advisory services offered through Keystone Financial Services, an SEC registered investment advisor.