Episode 39: The True Meaning Of Christmas When Living Life By Design

Good morning! Oh, you will not believe this, this is my favorite week of the year! It’s Christmas time! Oh man, I can’t wait, ya know. All this year folks, I have been under tremendous pressure to be good. And just a couple of weeks ago, you know my wife, Mrs. Williams? Phew, I thought I had really messed up, but I did check with Santa, saw him a little earlier this week. You know, when we were at the mall. And he said everything was still copasetic. Which is really a language for me, this is Jimmy is hanging on by a thread.

Hey, thank you for joining me today. This is Live a Life by Design, I’m Jimmy Williams, your host with the most. And today we are going to have a fantastic episode. That will hopefully enlighten your Christmas and enhance how you feel about this wonderful, wonderful holiday.

You know, we have nothing as a goal on this episode, but to make your life bigger, better, and bolder on Christmas Day. We want you to feel like you’ve got nothing but the world beneath your feet and you are in command of how your future will appear. The one thing we always bring to mind, and thank you so much, is listening to this podcast and sharing it with your friends. Send them a link from iTunes, or go to our website and share some of the good news with those around you that you care about. Hey, it’s Christmas, what better gift to give them then positivity and powerful messages year-round?

So I am really excited to tell you a story today from my early childhood. I was in the third grade, and it was that time of year when all the students would choose a name from a hat and you’d go buy one of your fellow students a gift for Christmas. And of course, now don’t laugh folks, but this was about 1973, so this has been a while ago. And I’ll never forget this though, my parents came that day, as most parents do on Christmas shows. You’d have programs and you’d talk about good things about Christmas. Well there was time to give the gifts away and the person that had drawn my name gave me the gift, and I was so glad to get that gift, but then something happened that didn’t go as planned. Another little boy in our third-grade class, that was one of my dearest friends that didn’t draw my name, actually bought me a gift as opposed to the person he was supposed to buy a gift. As I set there for a moment, my father sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and he said, “Hey, just a minute, someone didn’t get a gift if you got two”. Of course, I was in the third grade and I thought, well, that makes some sense. But hey, I got two gifts, ya know, right? And my father, I’ll never forget, he said, “I’ll be back in just a few minutes, do not open those gifts”.

And I thought, what is he asking me to do? This is the utmost of will power people, it’s Christmas, third-grader, two gifts, you know all I’m wanting to do is rip the paper off this stuff. Anyway, my father’s gone for a little while, we’re having some cookies, and some punch and some things in the third grade that you’d have as a party. And my dad comes back in with this really nice big bag. And I’m looking at him, I’m thinking to myself, this tells you about a third-grader, what could my dad has gotten me for Christmas at school, wow!

And my dad took the bag over to the little boy that was a friend of mine that didn’t receive a gift that day. When my dad handed the young boy the gift, I could see the smile on his face, and folks, this gift was worth far more in 1973 then any gift any of us other children received that day. And it touched my heart so much, even in the third grade. And then my dad asked me, “Wouldn’t it be nice to give that little boy the second gift you received, cause you only get one”. And so I went over and handed my friend, his name was Yule, and I handed Yule that gift. And I gotta tell you, it made me feel very very good inside.

My dad taught me a valuable lesson that day. It is far better to give than it is to receive, and today I’ll tell you, you are in for another treat. I don’t know how I did it. I had to work really hard, between all of her agents and assistants, but I have back with me today the best co-host with the most, Lori!

LF: Oh! I’m sorry Jimmy, I just, I’m just so stressed out. I’ve already had two cups of coffee this morning. I still have ten gifts to wrap, two pies to make, and no, there’s no telling what else is still on my list that I don’t even recall. I just, I, I’m so excited to be here but, Christmas just has me so stressed out.

JW: Now listen, Lori, Lori, this is Live a Life by Design, you didn’t design your life to live like that. Hey, this is just the typical hustle and bustle that everyone else lives. But not us! We’re Live a Life by Design.

LF: Ah, you have a point. I need to really take a minute and focus. And just think about, well, I’ll tell you what Christmas makes me think about. It makes me think about a story from my childhood. And everybody has those Christmas traditions that they’re well aware of. Somebody gets a, I guess a secret Santa gift. Or there’s some type of gift exchange. But I can remember, and honestly we still do it until, hopefully again this Christmas. But it started probably in about 1992, and it was a Christmas box, and on the box were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

JW: Oh man, that’s big.

LF: It was big. And so, that box contained a gift, and it was a scarf, and I absolutely loved it. And didn’t think anything else about the box until the next Christmas, my brother got the box. And the subsequent Christmas, my dad got the box. And so every year we started this tradition of who was going to get the gift wrapped in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle paper box? So fast forward all these years, I’m now married, I have my own son. And when he was four, he got the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle box for Christmas that year. I don’t recall the gift and it doesn’t matter because my brother and I were just super upset that we did not get the box, but we had to realize that at some point we were adults, and so I’m hoping this Christmas that the box, now the box is very tattered and torn, but the box holds so many memories of a tradition that we absolutely love that was started just by happenstance. And so, I’m really hoping that we get the box again this year and continues to make it. I don’t know what we’re gonna do when it falls apart. Literally it’s been taped, stapled, tied, but that box just keeps on giving.

JW: Hey, and that’s what Christmas is all about folks. Not the hustle and bustle and the shopping and the food. And the wrapping of gifts. It’s the time of remembering what makes life special. And those days are sometimes hard to recall because we’re so busy, Lori, but we have to find that quiet time, particularly this time of year to really reflect on what’s really the true meaning of Christmas. And thinking of that, Lori, come to mind, at this point, I like three areas today of life that we really need to reflect on this time of year. There’s family, friends, and particularly our fellow man.

You see family is especially important to me at Christmas time. Now my kids are the world to me, Lori. But I gotta tell ya at Christmas it’s even more special. Now they’ve aged some, since the little girls that come running into the living room with the tree all lit up, and gifts under the tree. And Santa leaving that one special gift over there that didn’t get wrapped, you know had a bow on it. And they’d wake us up at, say, 5 o’clock on Christmas Day, that kind of stuff. They don’t do that now. I wake em up really early, like about noon, and they..

LF: Noon! I’m at that stage in my life where I am the 5 o’clock parent. I’m the jumping up and down on the bed, is it time yet, get up, yea we’re there.

JW: You know, it’s one of those things too, even my extended family, so you know, it’s fun to go see my siblings, and my nieces and nephews and great nieces now and great nephews. We’ve just become so busy it’s hard to see one another during the year, that Christmas becomes that time, that focal point where we have common sense to say, hey, this is what it’s all about. Don’t you think?

LF: Oh, absolutely. And it makes me think about not only family, but it makes me think about what we refer to as framily.

JW: I love that. So there a combination of your friends and your family. And you know, you don’t necessarily get to choose your family, but you do get to choose your friends. And those people are especially important to my life because, I’m, I mean, we’re a small family. But those are the people that, they love you in spite of your quirks, you know mood swings and attitudes. And they’re the people that love you through the thick and the thin and the good and the bad. They’re there to pick you up and dust you off, and say you know, let’s keep moving forward. And so those people this time of year are extremely important in my life and it’s always a great thing to show them how much you love them and appreciate them. And it doesn’t necessarily come in the form of a gift. And we’ve talked about this before. In previous podcasts, but it’s the gift of time. And so giving people your undivided attention and sharing a moment with them and making that impactful, that’s what my friends do for me. It may be a cup of coffee, it may be a stress relief drive to Sonic for ice cream. We do that, or it may just be a text, you know, later on in the day, that says hey, I love you and I’m thinking about you and what can I do to help you. So we can’t forget framily.

JW: Absolutely. You know, what a shame it would be if the only family interaction we ever had came at sad events, such as obviously a terminal illness someone was diagnosed. Or heaven forbid a funeral maybe. If that’s the only time we’re getting together as family then I think we’re missing the whole point of what Christmas really means. You know family is one invaluable asset in our lives that can’t be replaced with money. You know, I can’t buy time Lori, but I’ll tell you that is one of the greatest values in our life is the time we can control. So on this podcast, you’ve heard us mention many, many times that life is far more than money.

LF: Absolutely. I think that you can’t possibly put a value on time. If you were to equate that to a dollar amount, I don’t know what that would be. But that’s the one thing I think at the end of the day that we all say we wish we had more of. More time to enjoy our kids when they’re little. More time to enjoy our family. More time to spend with our spouse or our friends, or more time to make acquaintances with other people that you think, you see them in passing, or you know them as an acquaintance, but you think, oh I just wish a had a few more minutes to get to know someone. And so, time absolutely is the most precious, precious gift.

JW: So of these first three, my opinion is family is one of the most valuable of assets in your life. Especially at Christmas time. You know, one of the best things, also that helps make our life really that spice that we love. Especially on Live a Life by Design, those people are called my dearest friends. And you know friends to me are those people that, they accept you kind of like family with all the scars and hiccups that you have in life. They still come to your aid. They’re still there for you during the rough times of life. But man, they are really for you when it’s the good times. And you know what’s a good time? Christmas Lori!

LF: Yes, Christmas is the best time to hang out with your friends. We have started so many traditions by accident during the holidays. One of the things that we started several years ago with my dearest friend, Amanda, we decided that we were gonna take our kids on a Christmas road trip. We’ve had the most fun, we’ve had road trips problems. Hotel antics. We forget things when we get down there. We try to coordinate outfits for Christmas. We just try to make it a festive time for our kids to remember. And our kids are friends. So I think that’s one of the great things as you become an adult. And as you become a parent you hope, well, you kind of force your kids to be friends with your friends friends. But it’s that great camaraderie and if you have a true friendship that you foster and that you cultivate and your kids see you do that, it really teaches them that it’s important to have friends.

JW: You know, and there’s nothing more fun, like when you’re on those family trips, and it’s Christmas and so forth. Then just reacting some rock n roll scenes, man. Like you’re on like the tenth floor of the Holiday Inn in Ponca City, Ok, man and you just toss that TV. Stuff like that

LF: No.

JW: Oh, no?

LF: No. I don’t know that we’re tossing TVs, but I will tell you that when you talk about rock n roll, my favorite all-time Christmas song of all time. Native Oklahoman and I’m not talking Garth Brooks, I’m talking Glenda Peevey, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. If you’re not blaring at the top of your lungs during a road trip at Christmas, you are not a human being.

JW: Let me tell you, that song ranks right up there with the “Ringing the Bells” and some other great classics. I’m telling you.

LF: It’s a classic.

JW: You know, one that I love the most, though, is “I saw Grandma Kissing Santa Claus”, that song I really like, and then I also like “Rudolph the Redneck Reindeer”. You ever heard of that one?

LF: Ok, I’ve never heard that song.

JW: Oh, it’s a classic.

LF: Redneck reindeer?

JW: Oh, redneck, yea, Rudy gets in trouble a lot. Let me just tell you, if there are deer like this running around now we’re in a lot of trouble at Christmas. Let’s just say.

LF: Ok, I’m gonna have to download that song.

JW: But you know, friends to me also are the times of year that you know, we forget, we shake hands, we’re busy, we may share a cup of coffee with them during the year. But this is the time of year that I want to stop, just for a moment, maybe even write that card. You know, I told you in some earlier episodes I’m a card writer, you know.

LF: Me too.

JW: And maybe want to put in there something special. And you know, we’re guys, and a lot of times the men are afraid to show some vulnerable side of themselves. And I will tell you, I’ve gone up, I’m a pretty big guy, I’m 6’2″, 240 and I’m crossfitter, muscled up. Tall, dark handsome kind of guy. And what I did is, I just go up and I just hug my friends. They look at me first, really kind of funny then they hug you back. But it’s kinda like, is he doing this for real or is he gonna punch me or what. It’s that time of year that I really want them to know and fully understand that they are important in my life.

LF: And that’s the greatest thing about reminding people. I think we tend to, especially this time of year, we tend to get down trodden in all the things we feel like we have to check off the list. The parties, the gift buying, the caroling, the you know, the different things that we have to do and just stopping and reminding our friends that, hey, I love ya.

JW: Absolutely. Hey, speaking of caroling. Do you guys ever go caroling now for Christmas with your friends?

LF: We do go caroling, but it’s more about the kids doing the singing and we’re doing the supervising.

JW: Well, I gotta tell ya, so the last time I got to go caroling was with our youth group at church years and years ago and oh, it was cold that winter and we went to different homes throughout the city and we’d ring the doorbell, we’d step back, get information and a someone would blow a pitch pipe and then we’d start singing. But then the choir director looked at me, she said you know, it’s good for you to probably lip sync. What does that really mean?

LF: It means that, you know, they say that the Lord says that every noise is a joyful noise, but that’s probably, they don’t want you to really sing.

JW: He’s probably not listened to some of my singing. But anyway, friends are important. So we’ve got family, we got friends, what else would you say of those three items I mentioned is important?

LF: I would definitely say that your fellow man is important.

JW: Critical.

LF: I think that if you don’t belong to a community of people where you look outside of yourself and your inner circle. I mean it’s really easy to, you know, surround yourself with your family and your friends, but I really think it’s important that you remember you are part of something bigger. We’re part of a community, we’re part of a state, we’re part of a nation and I can’t help but think that this is a time a year where it’s really important to remember your fellow man.

JW: You know, I’ve been fortunate throughout my career. I have traveled, literally the globe. Mostly in Europe, and North America, but I have traveled to places and one thing I’ve noticed, Lori, about my fellow man is that we have so much in common that we both have parents, in most cases, right?

LF: For sure.

JW: Unless there’s a test tube baby, I’m not aware. But we both have parents. But the other thing we have in common is I think all of us seek to have a peaceful existence on a planet working and coordinating with others so that we can have that kind of world we all desire. You know, Live a Life by Design globally, if you will.

LF: Well, and I think it’s important to remember that, especially at this time of year, some of those things that we struggle with during the year where we work or what we do or what we work towards a common goal. We can set all that aside and accept everybody for who they are and love everybody for who they are because we’re looking at this time of year for peace, we’re looking for prosperity, we’re looking for health for everyone. And just a sense of joy and opportunity to be present in that moment where we just do. We slow down and we are thankful to have that. Because a lot of times, you know there are people that have that same mindset. And if you have the opportunity to have better fortune than others it’s definitely fulfilling to give that away. It’s better to give than to receive.

JW: You bet. Now let me tell you a little story if you don’t mind. So I’m seeing Santa Claus with the children, Dena and I have taken them, they’ve sat on Santa’s lap. When they were even infants and couldn’t even utter a word of what they wanted. They just looked so doggone cute sitting there with Santa and so I, as you know I’m very shy, I would introvert of me would be just subsided. And I would just leap with joy up on Santa’s lap as you’d hear a loud exhale and gasp like that. But, you know, and his eyes kinda crossed there for a moment. But anyway, he would settle in, and I sat on his lap for just a moment, and I asked for the same gift for 21 years in a row. And I got to be honest with you, I’ve yet to receive that wonderful gift. Would you like to know what it is?

LF: Absolutely, for 21 years?

JW: You know, and it’s not because folks, if you’re listening, it’s not because I wasn’t good. It’s just I gave Santa a really big challenge. In our careers, I love challenges because it makes me a better person. It makes me a better wealth manager for my clients. It makes me a better advisor, a better leader for my team. But this may have been one outside the jolly old man’s expertise just a little bit. Here’s what I asked for. I simply asked for 21 years in a row, for only 24 hours of peace on the entire Earth and every child on the planet have warm clothes, a hot meal and a safe place to sleep for one night.

LF: That’s an incredible wish.

JW: I’m hoping this year could be the year.

LF: This year’s your year.

JW: I’m hoping it is.

LF: I think you’ve been extra good. And I think it’s a good thing. Bells in the distance ring out

JW: What is that noise?

LF: What? Who? What?

JW: It is so difficult, I’m sorry Lori, it’s so difficult to find a quiet place even in a studio. Excuse me just for a moment, Lori.

LF: Who could that be this early?

JW: Oh Ho! Look who it is Lori!

LF: No way!

Santa: Ho Ho Ho!

JW: Oh man! It’s Santa!

LF: It’s Santa! Welcome Santa!

JW: In the studio! Man, it’s a miracle.

LF: It’s a miracle, what did we do to deserve this honor?

JW: I’ve got to tell ya, this is incredible, what is that? Reindeer!

LF: What?!? Are you kidding me? Reindeer! This is awesome, I have so many questions for him!

JW: I do too. Hey, you know I need to get a camera here before this guy leaves, cause he’s like really busy this time of year.

Santa: Jimmy, I ah, I’ve been getting reports on you. I’ve been getting reports for a long, long, very long time now. And this year something miraculous has happened and I wanted to personally deliver to you a gift.

JW: Wow! A gift for me! Lori did you hear that? I have been good all year. All year I’ve been working so, aw man, this is it. Bring it on, Santa!

Santa: This year your wish is finally being granted. The gift of peace to all mankind on Christmas Day.

JW: Thank you Santa! That would be wonderful. Well, Santa, I know you’re busy and I’ll tell you what, man, just having you here makes this so special. I thought it was great having Lori, but I’m sorry Lori, Santa’s the big guy.

LF: Santa trumps me any day.

JW: Santa is the man. Santa, thank you so much for being here.

LF: Bye Santa!

JW: Bye Santa. Wow, hey Lori, I’ve got goosebumps.

LF: Well, I’m just telling you that was a Christmas of the ages.

JW: You know I’m usually, sorry folks, I’m a little bit perplexed here.

LF: It’s not everyday the big man shows up.

JW: You know, and surprising.

LF: Yea!

JW: I, as producer of the show, I kinda thought I knew everything cause I staged it, but hey, folks, I don’t even know how he found us.

LF: Christmas surprises.

JW: Oh, love this, love this, man. So I will tell ya, if that gift is delivered on Christmas Day, and I think it will be, Lori, because if we all want peace we can find it. So the challenge this week, I’d like for you to make time to tell your family, friends, and fellow man that you appreciate them and wish them the merriest of Christmases.

LF: Okay, and one thing that we would like to add, I think this would be neat, maybe start a Christmas tradition. We want you to post your best Christmas photo on our Facebook page at Live a Life by Design.

JW: Wonderful, you know, Lori, friends like you really make this holiday just so special for me. So, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

LF: Merry Christmas to you Jimmy and I want to wish everybody a safe and happy and healthy holiday season.

JW: Hey Lori?

LF: Yea?

JW: Can I open a gift now?

LF: No! Are you kidding me? First, you’ve gotta clean up this hay, and this feed, and I’m not so sure what that is on the carpet over there. And then after that’s all done maybe we can talk about opening your gift.

JW: Oh, man! Just like last year.

Special thanks to this week’s guest Santa Claus.

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