The Wiser Financial Advisor Podcast

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The Meaning of Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! In this episode, host Josh Nelson talks about a few things that we all love about Christmas and about the essence of Christmas that makes the holiday a very special occasion for so many people.


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There are many traditions we have at this time of year and one of these is watching Christmas movies. In our family, we each write down a Christmas movie and put them in a hat and then each time we’re ready, we draw one out. I don’t think there’s a more famous Christmas story than the story of Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a coldhearted businessman who seems to hate everyone and everything, and he especially hates Christmas. As the story unfolds, Scrooge has a profound experience that leads to his redemption with the help of the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future.

I think the reason the story of Scrooge is one of the most defining of all Christmas stories is that we love a story of second chances. We love the comeback story. In any story of redemption, whether it be Rocky or Gladiator or A Christmas Carol or the Christmas story from the Bible, we see ourselves and our loved ones in the story. These are stories of hope, and amidst all the craziness of the world in our lives, these stories change our hearts.

From the prophet Isaiah: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the Government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

From the Gospel of Luke: In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the Angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The Angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the Angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever. His Kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be?” Mary asked the Angel, “since I am a virgin.”

The Angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to have a child in her old age, and she who is said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month, for no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your words to me be fulfilled.” Then the Angel left her.

From the Gospel of Luke: 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.

From the Gospel of Matthew: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the Prophet has written. But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people, Israel.”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me so that I too may go worship him.” After they had heard the King, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose, went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary. They bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians: Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing of the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. Being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth and every time acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

And finally, in our home we always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore.

‘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!
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,

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

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.