Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home
OUR FAMILY CHRISTMAS RELATIONSHIPS AND LITTLE TRADITIONS MAKE THE HOLIDAY
Our Christmas celebration is simple. We don’t pretend to do anything extravagant, really. But that doesn’t make it boring; in fact, we view our Christmas as just the opposite. When we feel that Christmas spirit, it’s due to family, friends, and gratitude — not so much the pomp and circumstance. That being said, we do have one unique tradition we love to observe. Every year, my family picks a small town in Texas, hops in the car, and drives there. There are so many great little towns in Texas, even within an hour’s drive from Houston. Most of them take great pride in their Christmas decorations. They line the streets with wreaths, and deck their city halls and town squares with yellow lights and Christmas trees. While there, we learn about the history of the town and explore their antique shops. You can find some of the most interesting gifts, because they’re custom-made by the locals. Last year, we explored Huntsville with its rich history and steamboat house. This year, we’re heading to La Grange, and we couldn’t be more excited. I enthusiastically recommend this practice. My kids are the age of most of my clients’ kids — one junior in high school and two in college. My oldest goes to school in New Jersey, so we’ll probably send him something Texan to remind him of home. Last year we sent him a book on turbine generation and robot dynamics because he’s into engineering. I don’t know many people who would tear through a book like that, but he did. Part of me kind of misses the days when my kids would be overjoyed with a Toys R Us gift. We’re lucky to have both sides of the family in the area to spend holidays with. Christmas Eve is spent with my wife’s family, where we watch the kids open presents. Anyone over 13 doesn’t get much, but we’re all content watching the little ones gleefully tear into their gifts.
At midnight, we attend a service at our Lutheran church. It’s lovely, and one of the highlights of my holiday observance. After a short message, the choir sings carols to us. I was in the choir for a long time, until I became too busy running the business. But I look forward to listening and singing along all the same. On Christmas morning, we head to my parents’ place, where things are a little more orderly. While my in-laws’ celebration becomes a paper- ripping mess, my family goes one-by-one, opening each present, giving the proper thank-you’s, taking pictures, then moving on to the next person. After the holidays, I usually take a week off of work for strategic planning. It’s one of the most critical weeks of the year for us. During this time, I make important decisions related to our marketing, services, and hiring. Even if you don’t own a business, it’s important to take a step back, look at the big picture of your life, and make this year’s strategic plan for success. Whether you’re planning for college, saving money, or simply strengthening your familial relationships, careful planning is sure to help. To our wonderful clients and my incredible staff who have made this a fantastic year for The College Money Guys — and from myself personally — Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a prosperous New Year!
“Even if you don’t own a business, it’s important to take a step back, look at the big picture of your life, and make this year’s strategic plan for success. “
–Bra nnon Lloyd
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