We hope you’ve left the office behind to enjoy good food with family and friends, but as you grab some hot cocoa and settle in for a marathon of holiday classics, be on the lookout for some outstanding business lessons hidden right inside these Christmas movie favorites.
The Santa Clause
A recently divorced single Dad has the adventure of a lifetime on Christmas Eve, when the real Santa falls off his roof leaving him and his son to take over for a magical night in Santa’s Sleigh. Unfortunately for Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen), putting on Santa’s suit constituted a binding contract that was outlined in the laughably fine print on Santa’s business card. Chaos ensues when Scott’s career and custody of his child are jeopardized by the meddlesome North Pole calling Scott to fulfill his destiny as Santa. While most standard business contracts won’t go north pole small in their font, the lesson is an important one. Always read the fine print.
A Christmas Story
In 1940s Illinois, 9-year-old Ralphie spends the holiday season praying and plotting to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. He lays it on thick with his mother, his teacher, and even Santa in an effort to make sure Red Ryder will be under the tree on Christmas morning. While Ralphie’s laser focus is admirable, the harder he sells, the more obstacles get in his way. A Christmas Story teaches us to never give up, but just as important: sometimes it’s important to stop selling to get what you want. Also, be careful with BB guns and icicles. And always have a pair of backup glasses.
Clark Griswold has a vision for the perfect family Christmas. Cutting down their own Christmas tree and decking out the house in twinkle lights is nothing compared to having every member from both sides of the family in the same house for a month. To add insult to injury, Clark’s plan to surprise the family with a pool he’s already made a down payment on goes awry when the Christmas bonus he was expecting never arrives. This movie is my Mom’s favorite and my absolute least favorite. The stress this movie makes me feel is worth it when I remember the lessons we can all learn from Clark Griswold. Don’t spread yourself too thin and think twice before spending money you don’t have.
Miracle on 34th Street
Macy’s in Herald Square spins into a tizzy when their new store Santa puts customers first and begins giving honest recommendations about products and prices, sometimes blatantly sending Macy’s customers directly to their competitor. While at first the corporate suits panic, they quickly realize that it is so greatly appreciated by customers they adopt the practice company wide. Putting customers first, even when it’s not ideal for you in the short-term, can build long-term brand loyalty.
When Kevin McAllister’s parents accidentally leave him behind while his entirely family goes to Paris for the holidays, it’s every kid’s dream. At first. After several days of no bedtimes, binge-eating candy, and all the TV he can handle, he realizes his family’s home is being cased by burglars. With bravery and ingenuity (and lots of gadgets), Kevin gives us a lot to think about. Have the right tools, take risks with creativity, and always have outstanding insurance.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Fun Fact: When It’s a Wonderful Life came out in 1946 it was a financial flop. It wasn’t until the film temporarily became public domain and television stations were able to air the film royalty free every holiday season that it became the cultural touchstone we know today. The film shows us the life of George Bailey, the quintessential good guy who cares deeply about the people in his life. With every hardship he faces in life, he somehow always manages to help those around him. When he hits financial rock bottom, an angel comes to earth and shows him what the world would be like if he never existed. He comes out of the experience a changed man, and is met by the fiscal and moral support he needs to save his family. This movie is the epitome of chicken soup for the soul and it teaches us a lesson that is Queen here at eWomenNetwork. Don’t take your network for granted. If you ever hit rock bottom, they’ll be the ones to lift you back up and cheer you on every step of the way.