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Get the Holiday Season Popping

By Joey Havens

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Pan of broken ornaments

CeCe and I are hosting our family two weekends before Christmas at our cabin near Eagle Lake. All eight grandkids are here and it has been real — it has been fun, but I’m not sure it’s still real fun! LOL! Lots of energy and joyful voices from sunrise to after sunset. We are so blessed and it’s such a wonderful time for the kids to get to know each other and develop lasting bonds and memories.

It’s our last morning, and I am up at my usual 6 a.m. putting the coffee on and turning the oven to 420 so I can cook biscuits. After drinking about half of my first cup of coffee, I begin to hear this popping sound. It’s getting louder and more frequent. It sort of sounds like popcorn popping in the microwave, which, as CeCe will tell you, I’m very familiar with around 9 p.m.

I look everywhere, walk out on the front porch, nothing. It’s starting to slow down and eventually goes away. Oh well, that’s crazy. Pour another cup of coffee and look down to see the oven is now at 420, so I open it up to put my tray of biscuits in. Oh no!

They left the handmade Christmas ornaments in the oven to dry last night. I guess the high heat simply exploded them as they were in small pieces all over the oven. My only salvation is that this is the last tray and only had about 4 pieces on it.

The ornament debacle brings to light an important leadership lesson about responsibility. Is this the fault of the person who left the ornaments in the oven? Is it my fault for not checking the oven before turning it on? YES and YES. That’s really where our leadership lesson lies. Teams that achieve excellence together take 100% responsibility for the outcomes. They avoid language like “that’s not my part or my responsibility.” When people take ownership, you don’t hear a lot of blaming. Had either of us been 100% responsible for our role, the ornaments would have survived.

Reflecting, it wasn’t the mishaps but the roaring laughter, the gleaming eyes filled with curiosity, the high-pitched voices of excitement, and the innocent love that made the chaos worthwhile. Perhaps the true magic of Christmas isn’t in the perfectly executed plans, but in the unexpected moments that leave lasting impressions. So here’s to more popping ornaments and life lessons in the coming years. Cheers!

Joey, I can’t find all of the Christmas ornaments that the kids made yesterday. Have you seen them?

Well, about that…..

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In the Spirit of Christmas