The SD-PF S*Ticker

Vol 9, Issue 4
December 2018
The Season of Giving 
As we all celebrate the holidays at this time of year, it often involves gifts. When we struggle to find that one perfect gift for someone, it's always so rewarding when the receiver loves opening it as much as we loved giving it. This season we asked our team to share their favorite gift, either given or received. 

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!
Nancy Skeans:   The favorite gift that I ever gave was actually  not from me, but from Santa Claus. My father passed away when I was 10, and my little sister, Patti, was 5. The Christmas following his passing, I played Santa Claus for my little sister - actually that year and for several to follow. Now, I did not dress up in red or sport a white beard. Instead, on behalf of my Mom, I took over the late night Christmas Eve task of building and wrapping any gifts from Santa. (In my home, any large gifts from Santa were always left unwrapped under the tree to be found on Christmas morning.) So back to my favorite gift, it was a three-story Barbie Townhouse. Perhaps it was my favorite because I had so much fun staying up late on Christmas Eve, putting it together and most likely playing with it. I also now shared in a special secret with my Mom. Patti was genuinely surprised when she found the toy next to the tree on Christmas morning. She loved that gift from Santa! (What little girl wouldn't?) I don't believe that Patti knows that I was her Santa that year or the years that followed. Perhaps one day I will share this memory with her too.

Derek Eichelberger:   My favorite Christmas gift actually arrived a few days after Christmas in 2004. My gift was my daughter, Ava, who was born on December 28 th . I couldn't have asked for a better gift. When Ava got to be a bit older, she got sick on Christmas Eve and my wife and I spent the evening with her in Children's Hospital. It was a unique Christmas experience and the staff gave her a stocking filled with goodies to help her feel a little better about being in the hospital on Christmas. Ava is 14 now, but this is still my favorite photo ever taken of her.

Nick Mastrian:   The first gift that comes to mind was a Little Tikes basketball hoop. Growing up in a family that is obsessed with basketball (my father was actually pulled from the bench coaching a game when my mother was in labor), this gift helped instill my lifelong love of the sport. I remember watching games with my dad on television, and after a big dunk, I would try to reenact on my hoop in the hallway.

Jason Staley:  Born in 1982 in Northeast Ohio , for me and my twin brother, there was nothing better than watching the Browns with our father and mother. It is only fitting that for Christmas in 1990 they bought my brother and me a Bernie Kosar home uniform. I am pretty sure I didn't take it off for several days and would go on to wear it as my Halloween costume for at least three straight years. Even after the evil duo of  Art Modell and Bill Belichick released my hero in 1993, the Bernie Kosar game day jersey remains my most treasured Christmas gift. #BernieForever (8-4 lifetime record as a Browns starter versus the Steelers).

Amber Cranmer:    The best gift I ever gave was a trip that my sister and I planned with my Dad. He always wanted to go to a game at Wrigley Field, so we bought tickets and took him to Chicago for a long weekend. We had the most amazing time together at the game, I was even asked if I wanted to be the Old Style Beer girl of the night and got to walk out onto the field and get my name on the Scoreboard. It was a great memory we will cherish forever, better than anything we could've bought in a store.

Matt Biggs:    The best gift I have given for Christmas was to my fiancĂ©, Katie, as well as to myself. A few years ago I reserved a room at Geneva on the Lake for Katie's Christmas gift. While we were there we went on a wine shuttle to all the local wineries, which she and I both loved. What she did not know at the time was that I also bought tickets for the Cleveland Cavaliers playoff game the next day (my gift to myself). We made an extended weekend out of it, and we both had a great time. That was the first trip we took together as couple, making it my most memorable Christmas gift!

Theresa Sekely:  
When I think about Christmas, it makes me think about family, and how joyful that time of year is. So  when asked what my favorite gift ever received at Christmas  time  was, the answer was easy - the birth of my daughter Sydney. Although it wasn't a surprise she was coming, the surprise was her unexpectedly joining us just after Christmas that year, instead of late January. Every year I look forward to enjoying the holidays with my family, and even though they are growing so quickly, I am grateful for all three of my girls, Samantha (15), Sydney (11) and Sara (9). They continue to bring joy to my husband and me at Christmas and all year long. 

Victoria Rogers:  I now have three boisterous adult children and my husband, Barry, has always been the biggest kid. Christmas morning has become more about experiences and less about gifts. One of the best gifts, however, was the year of the marshmallow shooter. Santa delivered an air powered gun to each of us that was loaded with miniature marshmallows. After the initial confusion over "what is this and why do we have it," someone pulled the trigger. The resulting mayhem had everyone running, ducking and firing. The dog was barking in the confusion, then, realizing we were firing tasty treats, spent the rest of the time chasing down and eating the ammo. Breaking out a new bag of marshmallows we learned basic rules of marshmallow warfare. Not too fresh, they stick together. Not too stale, they sting when they hit you. Please don't fire in the kitchen, marshmallow green beans are not on the menu. The rest of the Christmas season was skirmishes and guerilla warfare coupled with indiscriminate screaming. I was left finding marshmallows for years to come. On that sweet and squishy note, to each and everyone one of you, peace on earth and may all ammo be marshmallows.

Alissa Shawl:  
My favorite gift was a stuffed puppy from my  cousin David. He was about 6 years old at the time, and knew how much I wanted a puppy. He told me that he couldn't get me a real dog but wanted me to have one. It was a sweet moment, and one I will never forget.

James Moyer:  As you grow older, giving brings a lot more joy than receiving. Looking back at all the gifts I have received around the holidays I would have to say that tickets to my first Steelers game were my favorite gift. I grew up in a football-crazy household, and I distinctly remember opening a little red mailbox with my name on it and pulling out two tickets to a Steelers vs. Patriots game. We sat in the nosebleed section of that game and ended up winning 7 to 6 at Three Rivers Stadium.

Robin Robinson:   My favorite gift by far was a Mary Poppins doll that my mother, a talented seamstress and single mom of 4, made for me when I was 10. I don't know how my mom pulled off this feat, since we lived in a small house, she worked all day and we were all together every evening. She had to get out her needles and thread after we had gone to bed! My Mary had yarn bun at the back of her head. Mom embroidered a sly little smile on Mary's face and simple blue eyes with little lashes. She had a black felt hat with flowers on, bloomers and white stockings, a turquoise skirt, black felt boots, a lacy blouse and black felt overcoat, white mittens (I didn't mind that my Mary didn't have fingers), a proper carpet bag (hand embroidered by who else?), an umbrella (it didn't open but my mom wasn't a miracle worker), and a hand-knitted scarf (courtesy of the lady who lived upstairs. Since Mom didn't knit). I realized at the time that my mom put some effort into making this very special gift for me and as the years have passed and I had a child of my own, I came to understand what a true labor of love this doll was. So special...really precious. And it wasn't the last doll my mother made for me...the joy we both got from giving and receiving this very special gift was mutual. 

Schneider Downs Wealth Management Holiday Hours

Just a reminder that our office will be closed for the holidays on Monday and Tuesday, December 24 and 25 and then again on Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1.


The Schneider Downs Wealth Management Team

Nancy, Derek, David, Jason, Alissa, Amber, James, Karen, Matt, Nick, Robin, Theresa and Vicky.

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Material does not necessarily represent the views of SDWMA, and all information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representations as to their completeness or accuracy.