Holiday Stories – Laugh & Learn


We all have them. 

Maybe they are part of family lore.  Maybe they are things only you remember. 

And maybe some are funny.

Sometimes the funny stories are better.  If they make you laugh when you think back on them – maybe there’s a lesson there.   In fact, if you know anything about humor; there almost always is.

My first experience with the damage done by leaking confidential information happened 40 years ago today on Christmas Eve.   Let’s just call it, given the recent news stories, a St. NickyLeak so to speak.  I was only 5 years old and it happened just a mere 30 seconds after my 7 year old brother was told (in sworn confidence) the truth about Santa by Father.  Racing down the hall, older brother Kevin ran into our bedroom, slammed the door behind him and exclaimed that Santa was (gulp) ..fake.  Good times.  Later, Kevin worked a few years for U.S. Government (with a real security clearance mind you).  I was a little worried about that.

My first experience in workplace safety training occurred at very young age too.  For as long as we lived with our parents, there was no live tree in the McCarthy household for fear of an infestation of bugs or far worse, the invasion by larger animals that may have burrowed or nested in the festive tree and that would surely take over the house.   There were also no electric lights on said Christmas tree for fear of fire (ever- no matter how large the UL listing got) and quite understandably then there was no roasting of chestnuts of any kind as our fireplace was never opened (not even once).   I learned to love tinsel, fear live trees and continue to be amazed that someone can have a real fire inside a house.  I wouldn’t trade any of it though because today, I’m always working safe and living safe;  checking the oven, the stove, the basement, the emergency brake……….

My best experience for understanding the value of knowing your audience occurred during Christmas 2001 when my 4 year old son showed a quick understanding of the game of chess.  As we began to play with the shiny new board (a gift I cheerily procured   having suffered nearly a year of torment playing endless games of Connect 4) and he smartly moved pieces around the board I said “That is very astute of you, son”.  He froze, looked at me oddly, squinted hard, then balled his fists up and snapped “Well, you’re “A-stupid” too!!””.

Be it this Holiday or any other time people and family gather to celebrate; funny happens and stories are born.  Next time you tell or experience one around these times, look for the lesson- I’m betting it’s there.

Till next time,

Grow the Business.



One thought on “Holiday Stories – Laugh & Learn

  1. Dear Mark,

    We have yet to meet by phone or in person, something I am looking forward to. The injection of “you” into your writing, whether 140 characters or longer are fun and insightful. Thank you for being you!

    I’m looking forward to getting to know you better in the coming year.

    My wishes to you and yours for a Christmas filled with blessings of joy, peace, and love and Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.

    Your Friend,

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