The bright lights above the stage made it hard for me to make out the back of the crowd. It seemed to go for at least a mile. From my estimate the attendance was at least in the thousands, filling the place to capacity. To be fair, my numbers might have been a little off. I was only five at the time and could only count to ten. It was my first gig, the annual elementary school Christmas concert.
Kindergarten…. I remember the giant blow-up “letter people” in our room, the blonde girl I liked sitting next to (I was a sucker for blondes even then), and the Christmas gift exchange in which I ended up with a Barbie board game. I cried incessantly until another girl in my class (red head) sweetly traded me her Chutes & Ladders.
As traumatic as the board game crisis was, nothing compared to being stuck on stage having to sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Worse is that I had to ring a stupid sleigh bell during the entire song. I don’t recall if this was a special assignment given to me to hide my singing ability, or if all my classmates had one too, but my duty was to ring this bell over my head for the entire damn song. Not to mention that I was hot as balls, wearing some festive sweater that I’m absolutely positive I put up a fight against wearing. While my memory cannot confirm this epic battle, I always had a strong distaste for any garment with long sleeves. It is a trait passed on to my youngest son who displays the strength of ten men whenever a sweater gets within a 10 feet of him. In know in my heart I fought heroically.
My coping mechanism during the horror of this Christmas concert was to silently jingle away with my head down, staring at the floor (important to note that peeing my pants was not on the list…..I take pride in that). It was the first time that I could remember being conscious of feeling shy. It was a feeling I didn’t like, but would have a hard time overcoming for many years. When I eventually got into acting my mom brought this story up more than a few times, as in “it’s hard to believe that little five year old with his head down is now doing this”. There is a part of me that always is going to be a little introverted and reserved. It’s a gift that has allowed to me observe and understand people, which in turn has made me a better communicator, business owner, and actor. Unlike my childhood days though, I choose not stay in that place and let it hold me back in anyway. It’s a good reminder that we are always evolving and growing as long as we are willing to push ourselves and put in the work.
Do have a childhood Holiday story that left its mark on you?
A few Year-End Tax Tips for you:
Don’t wait until the Spring to assess your tax situation when it is nearly impossible to address any issues.
- Take a look at last year’s return. How does your income and deductions match up in comparison? Do you need to set aside more money, or are you looking at a refund?
- Although you can contribute to a traditional and SEP IRA for this tax year up to April 15th, the same is not true for most 401(k) plans and Simple IRA’s if you need to dump more money into these plans before the deadline.
- Have you had any investment gains or losses this year? It might be a good time to either sell off some losers or cash in on some gains depending on your tax position.
- As a business owner I try to make some supply and technology purchases at the end of the year when things are on sale and to get the last minute deduction.
- As a reminder, the most efficient tax return is one in which you neither owe money to the IRS or are owed money (no sense letting the government hold your money at zero interest).