Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell - December 2018

December 2018 815-726-9999 | THEBKMS BULLETIN

Christmas Memories What Makes a Magical Holiday?

“MY CHILDHOOD WAS FILLED WITH GREAT HOLIDAY MEMORIES.” My childhood was filled with great holiday memories. My parents always hosted Christmas and had the whole family over to open presents and eat dinner. I cherish those memories, and I want to make sure my kids have the same kind of happy memories they can look back on. One thing I really loved as a kid was going out to the tree farm with the family. We picked out the biggest tree we could find and chopped it down ourselves. It was a real Griswold family Christmas thing — though we made sure to remember our tools! These days, we have a fake tree at our house because my wife is allergic, but Jennifer managed to find the biggest, most beautiful fake tree on the market. Each year, my job is to set up the tree, and then I get to sit down and watch Is there any day of the year more magical, or stressful, than Christmas? We like to have not one but two big family Christmases at my house. On Christmas Eve, my wife’s family comes over, and we spend the evening together. As soon as they leave, we rush around to clean up the house in time for my side of the family to come over on Christmas Day so we can do it all again. It’s a lot of cleaning and even more chaos, but it’s worth it.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” while the kids put on the ornaments. We have a ton of ornaments, and most of them were given to us by my mom. She likes to get us new ornaments every year. Her own tree must have thousands of ornaments; you can’t even tell there’s a tree under all that glitter and light! Decorating the rest of the house is more of a production for me, because I’m terrified of heights. It must be a sight for the neighbors to watch me up on that ladder trying to put up lights while Jennifer holds the ladder still. I like being Santa far more than I like decorating for his arrival. My girls are 12 and 9, and my oldest still believes in Santa, but this might be the last year for her. I can still recall when my parents told me the truth about old Saint Nick. I was in fifth grade, and it rocked me to my core. At first, all the magic of the holiday seemed to disappear. However, over time, I came to appreciate the work my parents put into making Christmas happen. The time

we get to spend with our families and the desire people have to give back to their communities are where the real magic of Christmas comes from. The holidays are a pretty magical time at the firm, too. Most of the insurance companies try to close out their files by the end of the year. This means it’s usually a good time for our clients because we’re often able to settle their cases and get them their money before the new year starts. Seeing the joy on a client’s face when they get their check after everything they’ve gone through really lights up our season. From everyone at Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, we wish you happy, healthy, and safe holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s!

–Brya n Shell

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