8 Lessons From Christmas Movie Characters

I just LOVE Dave Ramsey and this was on their blog yesterday and I thought it was cute and wanted to share it!

Don’t you just love Christmas movies?

Few things can get us in the Christmas spirit like a good film, whether it’s a cheesy love story, holiday musical or a comedy. There’s just something about this time of year that makes movie watching so fun.

With that in mind, we thought we would take a look at some of the more memorable characters from Christmas movies and ask the question: What can they teach us about money and success?

Oh, you don’t think you can learn anything from Buddy the Elf? Think again!


Buddy the Elf (Elf)

Famous Quote: “Smiling is my favorite.”

We think Buddy was on to something. Debt got you down? Tired of collector calls? Does your 401(k) keep getting smaller? All of these things can get in the way of your joy and Christmas spirit—which, if you watched Elf, you know is what fuels Santa’s sleigh. So no matter what’s going on in your life, remember what Buddy said: “Smiling is my favorite.”

Cousin Eddie (Christmas Vacation)

Famous Quote: “Oh, that there’s an RV. Yeah, yeah, I borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV. It’s a good-looking vehicle, ain’t it?”

Cousin Eddie can teach you a lot. For starters, never trade your house for an RV. And second, while you might spend a lot of time with family this Christmas, at some point they might need a gentle nudge out your front door .

Clarence (It’s a Wonderful Life)

Famous Quote: “Remember, George: No man is a failure who has friends.”

Good old Clarence. George Bailey might have been the star of It’s A Wonderful Life, but Clarence was the angel that made George shine. Clarence helped George realize that we have the ability to affect people and make a difference in their lives even when we don’t realize it.

Ralphie (A Christmas Story)

Famous Quote: “I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action, two-hundred-shot, range-model air rifle!”

Ralphie’s obsession with getting a BB gun for Christmas is a great reminder of how much we like stuff, even if it might make us blind in one eye. In 30 years, that BB gun might be a new truck or designer purse.

The Grinch (How The Grinch Stole Christmas)

Famous Quote: “Blast this Christmas music. It’s joyful and triumphant.”

The Grinch is bitter, angry and cynical. He even hates Christmas music. Gasp! But the lesson the Grinch teaches us is that Christmas is about much more than materialism and shiny gifts we’ll forget about soon enough. It’s about giving, family and friends.

Rudolph (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)

Famous Quote: “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” —Santa Claus

If your friends are making fun of you, then you’re on the right track. Just ask Rudolph. Prancer and Dancer might be “normal” when it comes to how noticeable their noses are, but where did that get them? They ended up with a clean view of Rudolph’s hindquarters for hours and hours while Santa delivered presents. Rudolph might have been the “weird” one, the one with the bright, shiny nose, but Santa handpicked him to lead the way on Christmas Eve.

Bob Wallace (White Christmas)

Famous Quote: “May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.”

Bob Wallace was played by famous crooner Bing Crosby, and some people believe it’s not really Christmas season until you’ve heard Crosby sing a tune. In the movie, Bob Wallace and his friends have to make some adjustments when they arrive in Vermont for Christmas—only to discover that there’s not even a hint of snow on the ground. Bummer. The lesson? If you’re traveling during Christmas, remember that a little bit of planning can save you a lot of grief.

Mr. Potter  (It’s a Wonderful Life)

Famous Quote: “George, I’m an old man and most people hate me, but I don’t like them either so that makes it all even.”

Old Mr. Potter. Some people might think he’s more of a villain than the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge combined. The problem Mr. Potter has is that he puts money over people. He might be the richest man in Bedford Falls, but he has no friends, no one to drink a warm cup of eggnog with. Why? Because making a lot of money doesn’t automatically make you a friendly, classy person.

So many great Christmas movies include so many great characters. What are some of your favorite Christmas characters, and what have they taught you?

‘Tis the Season for Area Holiday Activities

The holiday season is a perfect time to host an open house in your business. Invite all of your customers and clients. Provide food and beverages as a show of appreciation. For example, you might put out several cheese plates and offer wine poured from a local vineyard. Then during the open house you can chat with your customers and demonstrate or inform them about your new products and services. They will walk away from the open house well fed and with new information about what your business has to offer. An open house also encourages potential new customers to stop in.

Now, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with festive holiday activities taking place all around the county. Tonight, Gridley’s Christmas in the park begins at 5 pm, and Everything’s Fabulous is hosting a Holiday Decorating Event from 6 – 8 pm. This Saturday, December 8th, Lebo has scheduled a variety of events around town all day, beginning with a Chris Cakes breakfast fundraiser at the Lebo school commons area at 7 am. Burlington’s annual Homes for the Holidays tour will take place from 1 – 4:30 pm, and LeRoy’s Christmas in the Park begins at 5:30 pm.

Area churches have been busy preparing for children’s programs, cantatas, and special services to be presented this month. If your church has a special event scheduled, you can call our office at 620-364-2002 and we will add it to our calendar.

The Burlington Lighted Christmas Parade will be held on Thursday, December 13th, at 6:00 pm. If you are interested in entering the parade, contact Patty Sanborn 620-364-5810 or Ronda Gilbert 620-364-8895 by Friday, December 13th. Bring the family for Santa’s arrival in Burlington!

The Grand Prize Drawing for “Christmas on Us” will take place on Wednesday, December 19th, at 6:30 pm at the Burlington Fire Department. Winning tickets must be presented at the Grand Prize Drawing to claim prizes.

Be sure to check the events calendar at www.coffeycountychamber.com during the holiday season for current information.

Thanksgiving Reflections

“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…”

As a child, Thanksgiving meant waiting impatiently for all of the relatives to arrive, then feasting on the traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, and fresh-baked dinner rolls. After dinner, the adults retreated for their afternoon naps while the younger generation played games, watched football, or slipped out to the bowling alley. Later, everyone gathered again for desserts – homemade pumpkin pie and Grandma’s date loaf with mounds of real whipped cream.

Today, things are a little different. The menu is basically the same, though the people and location change from year to year. The number of children has increased dramatically, and after-dinner activities now include hours of strategic planning for the Black Friday shopping spree that begins on Thanksgiving night and continues into Friday afternoon.

It sometimes seems that the reason for the holiday – giving thanks – is lost in the busyness of the season. Taking a few minutes to reflect on the things we have to be thankful for yields typical thoughts of family, friends, home, health, and finances.

Giving thanks is easy when things in your life are good, but when you are struggling through times of stress or crisis, whether it’s unemployment, a health problem, a relational struggle or another source of stress, it may be hard to find genuine gratitude. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, or what is missing, give thanks for what you do have, including the smallest of things. Notice good things happening around you – a beautiful sunrise, the sounds of birds singing, a kind word – and acknowledge them with gratitude. Know that even if things are difficult right now, better times are coming.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tech Update – Windows 8

If you are currently running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, an upgrade version of Windows 8 is available for you – and it’s already available pre-installed on hundreds of desktop PCs, laptops, and all-in-one PCs. Windows is now also available on tablets for the first time.

Windows 8 is a completely new version of Windows. There is a completely new user interface ideal for touchscreens, but also designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard. The key to the new interface is the brand new Start Screen. It replaces the Start Menu and fills the entire screen, but it can be used in the same way as the Start Menu – you can search by typing a name and browse and find applications using your mouse.

But the Start Screen is also a home for new Windows 8-style apps you can download from the new Windows Store (this works much like Apple’s App Store or Google Play). The Start Screen features new colorful tiles with your key Windows 8 applications. And, for the touchscreen, there’s a great on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition.

On traditional PCs, Windows 8 does represent a different experience from what you’re used to, and there are new tricks to navigate through apps – just click in the top left corner to cycle through your open apps (the equivalent on a touchscreen is to flick in from the left-hand side of the screen).

Another new feature on all Windows 8 devices are charms – these are quick access tools on the right side of the screen – move your mouse towards them or swipe in from the right side with your finger. They enable you to share from any Windows 8 app, search from anywhere on your PC, go to start or access your devices and settings.

In the background, Windows 8 closely resembles  Windows 7, but it has been given a fine tuning, meaning that it will run just as well on equivalent hardware. Gone are the days of expensive upgrades for the latest version of Windows and Microsoft says that Windows 8 will run better on the same hardware as its predecessor. If you are upgrading to Windows 8 will be asked which files and settings you want to bring from your previous installation – although what you can bring to your new Windows 8 install will depend on what older Windows version you have.

Stay Informed Through Webinars

There may be seminars and conferences on topics important to your work that you would like to attend but are not able to due to time, travel, or expense. Webinars are a tool that you can use to attend these live, online seminars from your desk, a conference room, or even your home office. Webinars are available on just about every topic and they are hosted by many organizations, including nonprofit groups, well-known corporations, and educational institutions.

Why Attend a Webinar?

  • Many webinars are inexpensive or even free.
  • You don’t have to travel to attend a webinar – you can meet from your desk.
  • Many webinars are interactive so you can ask questions, give feedback and participate in audience polls.
  • Most webinars are live events, but many are saved so people who can’t attend at the scheduled time can access them later.
  • Webinars don’t require any special equipment – usually just a phone and Internet connection.

Choosing a Webinar

No one has time to waste on poorly organized or irrelevant seminars, whether they are virtual or not, so choose your webinars carefully. Look for events offered by companies that are market leaders or you know and trust. Ask colleagues or friends about their experiences with webinars and have them recommend webinar hosts or topics suitable for your work. In addition, check out trade shows relevant to your market – they often host webinars. You can also find webinar announcements in newsletters or on the company and publication Web sites you use often. One good webinar site is the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) at http://www.nfib.com/webinars. There are upcoming live webinars to register for, as well as a list of on-demand webinars on a variety of topics that may be viewed at your convenience.

Once you’ve decided to attend a webinar, prepare for the event:

  • If you’ll be attending from the office, make sure a firewall won’t block you from connecting to the event.
  • Download any necessary files. Many webinars require you to have a viewer or client such as Go to Webinar to participate. You’ll usually be prompted to download the required files when you register. Some webinars provide handout materials to be downloaded and printed.
  • Determine whether audio will be delivered through a phone line or as VoIP (mic & speakers). Have the phone number for the audio bridge or make sure you have speakers or headphones.  If you plan to and are able to give verbal feedback using VoIP, check your computer for microphone capabilities.

Webinars are an inexpensive and time-saving way to stay on top of what’s happening in your industry, so try one out. You might discover that it’s just like being there, if not better.

Monday Member Spotlight – The Pizza Parlor

Each Monday we are featuring one of our members. This week, the spotlight is on The Pizza Parlor, located at 608 Main Street in LeRoy, Kansas. The Pizza Parlor features fresh, homemade pizza, calzones, spaghetti, sandwiches, bread sticks, salad bar, soup, soft serve ice cream and cookies, as well as specials such as Lasagna served the last Sunday of the Month, Taco Tuesdays, and Baked Potato Bar on Thursdays.

Christine Williams, owner, posted this information on Insider Pages: “The food is great! We have one of the best salad bars in Coffey County. Our Calzones will not leave you wanting anything more; Pizza’s are made to order and piping hot. There are a variety of sandwiches you can pick from and add your own twist. You can call to find out our daily specials 620-964-2100. Come on Sundays and enjoy a homecooked meal not on the menu! We have spent ALOT of time making sure you have a pleasant atmosphere to dine in. The 100 year old building has been renovated and tastefully decorated. Come eat with us, you won’t be disappointed!”

Monday Member Spotlight

Each Monday we will be spotlighting one of our members, selected by random drawing. This week the Spotlight is on COF Training Services, Inc.

As a designated CDDO (Community Developmental Disability Organization), COF Training Services, Inc. provides for the coordination of services to children and adults with developmental disabilities in Coffey, Osage and Franklin counties in Kansas. In Coffey County, the COF office and day services facility is located at 1415 S. 6th Street in Burlington.

COF is committed to helping individuals with developmental disabilities to maximize their level of independence and quality of life. This is accomplished through assisting individuals in acquiring skills, providing necessary support, and coordinating services which provide opportunities to live, work, and socialize in the least restrictive setting possible.

COF also provides residential services in the form of supported living and group living. Supported living is available to those individuals that want to live on their own in the community with minimal assistance. Group living is designed for those who want staff available to them for assistance and support.

If you would like more information about COF, contact Jody Jeffers at 620-364-2151 or go to http://www.cofts.org/.