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To see the excitement and sparkle in a child’s eye on Christmas morning is a wonderful blessing.  The questions that lead up to Christmas, the excitement of envisioning what is in store for them and the message that if you are good you will be rewarded is what Christmas is all about.  I remember the days of when my older children, now 26 and 34, were steeped with Christmas eve preparations, early to bed so excited that they would be on the verge of getting sick, and how they would drop off into a sleep so deep that an volcanic eruption would not have shaken them.  Now with children in grammar school, high school and college the pre-holiday discussion continue as they did with their much older siblings.  Even today we discuss how Santa made so many toys, gives so many gifts and how he can travel the globe in the matter of one evening.  It brought a smile when our youngest, age 9, asked if he outsourced some of the work to others.  I thought for a moment but it gave rise to that it would be highly possible.  What is most interesting is that Santa does do it to save money (known as Labor Arbitrage) he does it because of the need for added production capacity.  He also, using a team of providers from around the globe created one of the most complex but highly efficient logistic network anywhere on the globe.  In essence, he keeps his customers, the good boys and girls, happy come that day on Christmas morn.  But he went even further he did so without effecting the elves, putting the reindeer out of work and even managed to keep Mrs. Santa Claus happy.  We all know he isn’t getting any younger so he was able to reduce his travel, save on precious fuel and even managed to make the legions of helpers more empowered and actively involved.

There is always ranging debate about Christmas and gift giving.  As many of us know its not about the gift its about giving, its about being good and doing right things and its also about keeping dreams alive.  Its a time when we can put our suposition aside and stop worrying about whether Santa is real or not.   Simply its about building traditions, rewarding continued good behavior, giving of oneself, and for a brief moment soften our heart and stop playing Scrooge.   Seeing our children saving their bits of money to give to others without expectation just because it is the right thing to do and in doing so it makes you feel good too.  There is nothing wrong with feeling a bit of self-good from your actions.

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While the world continues in turmoil the sparkle in a child’s eye remains not just for what they can get but will last and be shared with generations to come. Santa will continue, he will constantly shape and reshape his enterprise whether though self-production or with the necessary offshore support for others.  The other day, while I was discussing our kid’s conduct, he said that he was opposed at first to outsourcing for fear that the elves would feel unwanted.  But when he discussed his concerns and pressures with them one of the elves exclaimed that it might “give them a bit of relief from the pressures and might even give them a chance to innovate new ways for the enterprise to move forward”.   While not every elf shared in this enthusiasm the smallest of the elves said that he knew he had worth and that it would never be thrown away, but more important than that he felt that it was helping others around the globe.   He said, “by giving others jobs they won’t be hungry, and when people aren’t hungry they can start to enjoy their life… and their children can really have a Merry Christmas even if they celebrate some other holiday”.

So as we enter the holiday season, regardless of your religious beliefs or where you live or what challenges your world has…. remember the sparkle in the eye of the child, the fascination to do good and a future of leaders who will keep a loving heart at the center of tradition.  Santa is real and a God send to the world, for children to have dreams, for adults to renew their youth, for us to soften our heart and to show each other that the trials and tribulations of daily life will not be solved without love for one another.

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