The most difficult talk that I’ve ever had to have with my daughter, Kylie, happened when she was in 5th grade; and no, it wasn’t the “birds and bees.” Kylie asked me for about the 13thtime if Santa Claus was real. I answered as I always had, “What do you think?” And, sigh, that’s when the conversation took a different turn.
I told her that I still believe in Santa Claus. She, of course, wanted to hold fast to the literal interpretation that one jolly man, dressed in a fuzzy red and white suit was delivering millions of treats in a 24-hour period, buzzing through the sky pulled by a team of flying reindeer – truthfully, who can blame her? It was her only reality up to that point.
What I shared with her then—and have attempted to reinforce in the succeeding nine years—is that the spiritof Santa is very real. There are many amazing life lessons that we can learn from old St. Nick.
- Give freely
Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” This rings true in all senses. Our time, talents and resources often multiply when shared. We encourage every credit union employee, member and board member to get out in the community and give back to those around them; they embrace showcasing the #CUDifference!
- Laugh often
You can’t take things too seriously. After all, it’s just life. Always seek out the fun in things – you, and those around you, will be much happier.
- Cookies are a food group
Most everyone believes there are only five food groups, but Santa and I are here to argue. You can’t tell me that a fresh snickerdoodle cookie, still warm, isn’t worthy of its own food group.
- Work together
Credit unions are made up of people working together to achieve a better life for themselves and their community. We know that collaboration fuels innovation. Santa has elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus on his team and they’re all pulling together for one common goal, even though they have different roles.
- Celebrate differences
Rudolph didn’t get kicked off the team for being different—he was promoted! How boring would life be if we were all the same? Just as Santa celebrates and encourages differences within his team, we do the same! Creating opportunities for each member and employee to individually shine is crucial in creating a rich culture that can elevate our credit unions.
- Magic is real
Amazing things happen to us when we’re open to wonder. Magic is all over if you simply keep your eyes and heart open to it. I see magic daily through the eyes of the individuals we serve in Montana. Hosting toy drives to provide families in need with toys during the holiday season and raising money for non-profit organizations such as Shodair Children’s Hospital and Watson Children’s Shelter are just a couple ways that our credit unions spread magic throughout our communities.
On that fateful night the conversation moved from Santa to the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, and the Leprechaun. I explained that sometimes life isn’t black and white and sometimes, despite your logical train of thought, you just have to believe in the magic of life. I am hopeful that I have set the example of these lessons for Kylie, our credit unions, and all others in my life.