It's the time of year when the world falls in love…right? It's a marshmallow world in the winter…do you even like marshmallows? I'm dreaming of a white Christmas…so you can shovel the drive way? Do you hear what I hear…no, isn't that creepy? Silent night…now that may be nice? Jingle bells…are they too loud? Here comes Santa Claus…didn't you prefer Kurt Russell, thanks Netflix. I'll have a blue Christmas…will you? Last Christmas you gave me your heart…yeah, let's be real shall we; what do you really want during this time of year?

Do you remember that feeling you had when you were a child and school was just let out for winter break? The absolute excitement to not think about classes, to have no homework, and to play with friends, be bored by family, or simply to sleep past what you considered to be "oh my goodness it's too early." Stop here and let's take a journey together and for a moment, and only a moment, let us go back in time and remember a time of pure and total childlike joy. Now take a deep breath in…okay, that was thrilling…but now back to reality.

The reality is that most of us need employment, a J.O.B. …in order to pay for this most wonderful time of the year. The reality is…as time slips away, remember the phrase "time is money,"" and of course the other beloved saying, "the greatest gift you can give another is your time" or do they mean your money?

The reality is…where are you in regards to your education? Are you proficient in your vocation, and are you financially literate?

Regardless of the recent clamor for the development of soft skills, employment statistics and the nationally low unemployment rate, data from the Department of Labor strongly suggests, that in order for one to be highly competitive in the employment market, one needs to have attained the appropriate level of education (i.e. certificate, degree, professional license). What this is singing to me is…All I want for Christmas is my education, my education, see my education. Geez, if only I could have my education; then I could wish you, "Merry Christmas."

All holiday cheer, joking, and statistics aside…if there was one gift you could give another; why not choose a gift that can keep on giving? Why not choose the gift of empowerment; the gift to uplift and encourage another. You may not be able to financially afford someone's college tuition, but have you shared the importance of education?

As we brace ourselves to enter 2019, I would like to personally ask each of you to share what education has done in your life because sharing is caring!

As I end this holiday note, I find it only fitting to recall that childlike faith, the childlike joy, the childlike wonder, and remember how you felt when you learned something new. Remember the feeling you had when you achieved a goal, when you worked hard for something and earned it. Don't let that feeling escape as we move through this thing called life - always reach - always strive - and…you'll go down in history…successfully!