The Moments We Share

The most important thing in my life is my family. I treasure every moment we spend together. Ever since we first got married, my wife and I have made a tradition out of bringing family together on a regular basis. These times are always special, and happen to be some of the most fruitful and educational moments I’ve experienced.

The thing about family is that there is always something going on or some big change happening. No matter what it is, your family is there to love and support you, but we’re also there to learn from one another. I’ve watched my children, and now my grandchildren, sit and absorb information. I’ve watched their thinking develop, and I’ve watched their personal philosophy, their financial education, and their minds grow as quickly as their bodies — it’s why I love Thanksgiving.

The day starts off pretty slowly for me. My wife and I share a quiet breakfast, and we watch the Macy’s Parade. The parade is always a hit; it really helps our thoughts transition to Christmas. Plus, our Christmas tree is already standing tall and bare in the corner! The rest of the morning is pretty leisurely. We’ll prep for Thanksgiving, and I’ll get the bird in the oven. I’ve been following a secret family recipe since the girls were young, and we slow-cook the bird, which means it’ll be in the oven for around 8 hours. While the recipe is secret, I will tell you to cook your bird breast-side down. That way, all of the juices run into the meat, and you’ll end up with a very moist bird. There’s no other way to do it.

After dinner, our family doesn’t take long to transition into the Christmas spirit. We’ll relax and digest for a while, and then, one at a time, we grab an ornament and decorate the tree. It takes us a few weeks to do the rest of the Christmas decorating around the house, but tree decorating on Thanksgiving has always been our tradition. When you do something doesn’t matter, as long as you’re sharing the moment with family.

In May of 2015, that idea brought my wife and hundreds of years of history together. She’s Swedish, and has always had a very strong Swedish influence. Her grandmother only ever spoke Swedish. So we decided to trace her lineage back to the homeland. It took a lot of digging, and there were a lot of dead ends, but with the help of an organization that does complimentary genealogy studies, we were able to find her family’s church, farm, and cemetery!

It was incredible to share that search with her and to dive so deep into her heritage. When my wife’s grandparents first came to the States, one steamer trunk — which we still own to this day — held all of their possessions. Thinking about it really kind of puts into perspective how much we take for granted. Compared to where we place value, what’s really important is the family that surrounds you. Life isn’t about possessions; it’s about what you can share with your family. So the question becomes, what knowledge, what philosophy, what advice, and what memories can you share with your loved ones that will withstand the test of time?

At Mattson Financial, our job is to help you find those answers. It’s one thing to pass down assets and money, but passing down the proper education and the knowledge to make the right choices with that money is a completely different story. Let us help you write yours.

– Gary Mattson