My Christmas Wish for You

My Christmas WIsh for You

My father instilled my passion for financial literacy when he began his money lessons with me when I was thirteen years old. Now it’s my turn to pass his legacy and gift forward to my own children, to other parents who want to raise Money Smart kids and to you. Children may be eagerly awaiting Christmas morning, but as adults, the presents they will remember are often intangible. And one the greatest gifts we can give our children and ourselves is the gift of financial literacy.

Parents do so much to help their kids succeed, but the one area they often neglect is teaching kids about money. And I don’t mean how to write a check. But how to think about money so that we don’t fear it, take it for granted or let our emotions overrule our good sense. To know how to use it in a manner that supports our goals and on what matters most to us, rather than trying to impress others or keep up with the Joneses. All of us handle money and being financially literate is key to living our best lives—free of debt and on our terms.

My Christmas Wish of Financial Literacy

I dream of a day where financial literacy isn’t a strange term that too many of us have never heard of before, but something we all embrace—in our homes and schools. I firmly believe that if you give a child money, she has money for a day. Teach a child how to earn and use her money and she makes smart money decisions for a lifetime. This is my goal.

I have 18 years, maybe less, to influence how my daughters think and behave. So while the girls will have plenty of gifts to ooh and ahh over Christmas morning, you can bet that the gift of financial literacy is something they will receive ongoing. Next to our love and support, it will be the most important gift my husband and I give our girls. I hope the gift of financial literacy is an ongoing present you plan to give yourself and your family.

As I shared before, The Polar Express is one of our family’s favorite holiday movies. It seems fitting to end with a quote from the movie.

Polar Express“At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

My wish for worldwide financial literacy may seem so far away and almost impossible. It will not happen overnight, but I believe it is possible and I hope you believe with me.

Happy Holidays from The Heavy Purse

I always tell my girls we are “rich” when our home is full of love, and I hope your home is also very “rich” this holiday season. I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a fulfilling and prosperous 2014.

P.S. No doubt your children will receive some cash and gift cards this year. Now is a great time to teach them how to save, spend and share their holiday loot!

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The Heavy Purse Store is now open! My new downloadable Money Club Workbooks are now on sale. Each workbook provides five targeted lessons to help you raise Financially Confident Kids. Please check them out in The Heavy Purse Store.

December 23, 2013  •  33 Comments  •  Christmas

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  1. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Great message Shannon! The toys and things will lose their value soon enough, but the real lessons we pass on will last forever. Hopefully we can keep that at the forefront during this holiday season, and really every day. Hope you and your family have a great Christmas!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      Thanks, Matt! We often think about the tangible things we provide and while important, it's often the intangible that really leave its mark. I do hope that we can keep that at the forefront every day - it would make a huge difference! You have a wonderful Christmas too!
  2. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    I love that your family's financial literacy started with your father- he clearly did a great job of passing down his wisdom, and you are doing the same! Hope your family has a wonderful holiday!!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      My father gave me so many gifts in his lifetime but helping me learn how to think about and handle money was one of his best gifts. It led me to my passion and it is my deepest desire to help other parents teach their kids how to handle money as my father did and I am doing with my girls. I wish you and your family a very Merry and Blessed holiday season too, Dee!
  3. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    That's such a great Christmas wish, Shannon! After volunteering with Junior Achievement I feel like there is such a need for financial literacy in elementary school (and beyond). It should be a full course instead of just a half-day when volunteers come in (if even that). Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      Junior Achievement is such a wonderful organization and it makes so happy that your are involved with your community's group. It really does make a difference and it would be amazing to have a full course rather than a half-day. So much opportunity and the kids are hungry for the knowledge. You have a wonderful Christmas with your family too!
  4. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    We too, Shannon, talk about how very rich we are in that we have love, food to eat, and a roof over our heads. Have a very Merry Christmas with your family, my friend!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      I love that you teach your children the same thing because it's the truth, even though sometimes we forget it. You have a wonderful Christmas with your family too, my friend!
  5. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    It's a great wish Shannon and a worthy cause to pursue. The great thing is if we teach our children properly, those beliefs will be passed on to their children and so forth, hopefully for generations to come. That's how family trees are changed. Hope your Christmas is a joyous one!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      I would love to snowball financial literacy because you are absolutely correct that if we can teach a generation to be financial literate, they in turn will teach the next generation. It is how family trees are changed and it is possible. I wish you and your family a joyous and Merry Christmas too!
  6. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Great post Shannon and I could not agree more! You know my thoughts on this already, but I think teaching your kids financial literacy is one of the most loving things you can do as a parent. I believe it's all a part of leaving a lasting legacy for your children as well as to their future generations. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      Thanks, John! Yes, I know you feel the same way as do so many other parents. We just need to help spread the word as I often financial literacy isn't on most parents radar, but one I talk to them about the importance, they are onboard. It is one the most powerful legacies we can leave behind with our kids and something that truly betters their lives. You have a wonderful Christmas too, John!
  7. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Giving kids financial literacy when ensure that they don't end up in the poor house. I find it fascinating how two people can live in the same household but grow up with different money values. Happy holidays Shannon.
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      It is fascinating how kids react differently. :) Sometimes they mimic poor money behavior and other times they do everything possible to not make the same mistakes. Unfortunately too many people are unaware they are mimicking poor financial behaviors. Happy Holidays to you too, Charles!
  8. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    You're right Shannon the best gift our kids can receive is our love, support, and life lesson like finances and that is something that should be taught all year long.

    I certainly have learned a lot from you this past year we've connected and that has helped me teach my teens in time before they go out into the world.

    I've never watched the Polar Express but I'm going to watch it this year. I love Tom Hanks!

    I love what you said...that we're "rich" in our home. I've always believed that too. Merry Christmas Shannon! Wishing you and your family many blessings.
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      Thank you so much for your kind words, Corina. I am so pleased that I have been able to help you talk to your kids about finances. You are such a great Mom and they are lucky to have you. I am very grateful that we connected this past year as well. I hope you love The Polar Express as much as we do. Tom Hanks is great! Yes, so many people are truly "rich" and I'm happy to hear that you are "rich" in your home as well. Merry Christmas, Corina!
  9. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Awe very sweet! I've never seen that movie! Hope you and the family have a Merry Christmas Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      It's a classic in our home! :) I wish you a very Merry Christmas too ... and it will soon be over. :)
  10. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    That is the best gift I believe you can give your children Shannon.

    My Mom and I visited a friend yesterday and were talking about her daughter who has a grown son. I say grown but he's in his early 20's now. Not very responsible either because I know she spoiled him rotten and he's definitely paying the price now trying to learn how to manage money at his age. It's not exactly going real well either. I feel for them so teach your children as early as possible I say.

    I've never seen that movie, I keep telling myself I will but just haven't gotten the chance yet.

    Thanks for this message Shannon and Merry Christmas. I wish you and your family the best holiday ever.

    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      So many parents believe by giving their kids everything they want that they are setting them up to succeed. The reality more often than not is that are inadvertently creating entitled kids who have no idea how to handle money or their wants. They always got everything they wanted so they don't understand why it doesn't work now. It is so important for both parents and kids to get on the same page with financial literacy. It can save a lot of heartache later. :) I wish you a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your break!
  11. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Beautiful post! I love the polar express and that quote! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 23rd, 2013
      Thanks, Leah! It's a great quote and we do "believe" in our home! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, Leah!
  12. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Have a wonderful Christmas Shannon. I know your girls may not recognize it now, but down the road they will really appreciate what you have taught them about money. I know I appreciate all the lessons my parents have taught me over the years. Not something to take for granted!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 30th, 2013
      Thank you, Liz! I appreciate the lessons my parents taught me too, even though I didn't always in the moment. It's certainly my hope and belief that they girls will value the money lessons we taught them and teach their own children as well.
  13. Monday, December 23rd, 2013
    Great reminder, Shannon. This time of year is ripe with opportunity to teach our kids something about not only materialism, but personal finance. It's an opportunity I will once again be taking advantage of. Merry Christmas!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 30th, 2013
      Thanks, Travis! Yes, the holidays give us so many opportunities to teach our kids valuable lessons and we need to take advantage of these moments! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas too!
  14. Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
    That is a pretty great gift to give. I love your message Shannon. I wish you and your family a very Merry and love-rich Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 30th, 2013
      Thanks, Anthony! We did have a love-rich Christmas in our home and I hope you did in your home as well. :)
  15. Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
    What a great message Shannon! Financial Literacy is truly a gift that keeps on giving year round! And I love your reference to the Polar Express. My father used to read that book to me, and it is a great reminder of the "magic" of Christmas. I hope you and your family have a wonderful day tomorrow!
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 30th, 2013
      Thanks, Shannon! I couldn't agree more - financial literacy is a gift that never stops giving. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family too!
  16. Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
    I share your wish for my future children and all children. The world would be a better place.
  17. Friday, December 27th, 2013
    These are wonderful wishes, Shannon! Interestingly enough, I was waiting for a friend for lunch, and started perusing a bookstore. I searched for the personal finance/investing section, and was surprised to find that I not only had to do a couple of rounds in order to find it, but also with how small it was. If only it were as expansive and popular as the other sections, how people could be more financially literate! Hopefully someday this will happen. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, my friend! :)
    • Shannon
      Monday, December 30th, 2013
      Sad but true. The Personal finance section is often small and hidden and yet it's something that affects every single person. The good news is more and more people are waking up to this realization and someday the personal finance section may be at the front of the store. :) Happy New Year to you and B!
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan