The Gift of Intention

Well, Clark, what can I say? It is Christmas and we are all in misery!” Ellen Griswald, Christmas Vacation.

Ah, the holidays…families come together; old friends reunite; presents change hands; joyful music plays; delicious gingerbread houses form their own tiny, delicious neighborhoods; there’s peace on earth; and everything is all love and joy, right?

Well, sure. Except that, for parents, it’s become something to survive. The bleeding wallet, the zero childcare, the unrealistic lofty expectations from our children and extended family…it’s just so tiring, and sometimes actually impossible.

When did the most wonderful time of the year become the most stressful time of the year? I am going to guess it was right around the same time my name changed to Mom. This is because the holidays aren’t just about my husband and me anymore—they are about our children. With that fact comesresponsibility (and lots of it.) 

Even as I sit here writing this article, my to-do list is winking at me…taunting me, getting longer and longer. It makes me breathless if I let myself think too long about what is left to do. Around Christmas, my brain feels like my childhood visualizations of Santa’s workshops: elves working overtime and so much crashing and banging that it is hard to think straight. 

Dear Mama and Daddy, I know the holidays are exhausting. Once you get the tree up, the wreath on the door and Mariah Carey on the speakers belting out exactly what she wants, it is officially Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy it! Unfortunately, on top of the normal, everyday business of running our lives (which somehow doesn’t come to a stop during this time of year), December brings its own set of challenges. How on earth will we get it all done?

I have decided I am going to start doing a few things differently this year. First I plan to give myself the gift of intention. I am going to ask myself before doing anything, is this going to make for a happier holiday season or is this just going to stress me out? If it is going to make me more stressed out than happy, then I am downgrading it to a different pile and likely letting it go. If it is going to make my children smile ear-to-ear and give them wonderful holiday memories, then I will stay up late and get it done. 

I can’t help but consider my business when I think about intention. What factors into your purchase intention of insurance? Is it because your bank is requiring “full coverage” on your auto or home? Is it because the life-threatening pandemic has shown you the importance of life insurance?

Insurance is a financial safety net, helping you and your loved ones recover when something bad happens—such as a fire, a theft, lawsuit, or car accident. Insurance is a way of managing risks. When you buy insurance, you transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company for a premium. Insurance companies invest those premiums so they can grow and then pay out when there is a claim. 

As parents, we must be intentional about understanding our risks for loss and take intentional steps to manage those risks, most commonly though the purchase of insurance. Start by calling your insurance agent to review your needs. Run, don’t walk. Your needs are constantly changing. 

The second thing I am going to do is clean my halls before I deck them. The struggle is real. There are just so many things to get done. While I typically create and work from a weekly to-do list, this year I am going to create and work from a monthly to-do list that prioritizes, if possible, most of both business and personal tasks at the beginning of the month. 

With these things placed earlier, I will be able to focus on Christmas after they are done…and maybe even enjoy the holidays a bit. This reminds me of prioritizing the protection of assets. As moms and dads, we work so hard, year after year, to provide for our families and accumulate wealth. We hope this same wealth will allow us to live comfortably after retirement. 

To ensure we don’t outlive our money, it is important we explore the benefits of owning a Personal Liability Umbrella. This product provides extra liability coverage that goes beyond the limits of coverage on your home, auto, or other liability insurance. It provides an extra layer of security you just might really need to be properly protected.

Most importantly, we have to realize what really matters. What the holidays feel like on the inside of our homes is much more important than what things look like on the outside. This holiday season, this is my wish for you.