December 01, 2021
How Men Can Keep The Holidays Happy! Tips for Husbands & Fathers Planning for Christmas | S2 E12

The Alessi men break down the (man) plan to a hassle-free Christmas - so you can keep your family in the holiday spirit and keep the stress and conflict out.

When it comes to family Christmas celebrations, men have some unique roles - so Steve Alessi and his son Chris are sharing some timely insights that will help husbands and dads to make the most of their influence during this festive season. 

In this episode you'll discover:

  •  How to “Embrace the Conflict” between families during the Christmas season
  • How to keep expectations of the season from affecting your marriage
  • How to blend the celebrations of your families and avoid the holiday stress  
  • How to manage your budget at Christmas without causing friction in your family




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Steve Alessi  0:09  
Hello, we want to welcome you to another episode of the family business with the Alessis. And today, since we are talking about family, family being everybody's business, Chris and I are at the table, and we're going to have a great time. And we're talking about things in our podcast booth that we cannot talk about on Sunday. And so our podience is enjoying us and joining us today, and we want to welcome you. But we also have somebody here with us.

Chris Alessi  0:41  
This is not Kenny. Today, this is new family member and brother, Chris Muina. 

Steve Alessi  0:48  
Chris Muina. 

Chris Alessi  0:48  
He's got a hat on, we put a hat on Kenny and called him Chris.

Steve Alessi  0:51  
That's it. It's got some teeth in the back here. If you're not watching us on YouTube, you're missing out on the beautiful image of the bull horns and a Goodfellas 42 Man Up Pat, because that does represent the new son in law.

Chris Alessi  1:04  
Had to make sure with this conversation that he was a part of it. 

Steve Alessi  1:07  
Yeah, cuz you from what I hear the girls, the ladies, my wife, your wife. 

Chris Alessi  1:12  
the sisters. 

Steve Alessi  1:13  
Chris's wife. They're going to be invading this place with their own episodes,

Chris Alessi  1:18  
Well, they would have last week, and they shared some stuff. They're going to be addressing it again after this. So we're kind of sandwiched in the middle here. To tell the real story.

Steve Alessi  1:29  
Actually I think we're going to start first, we're gonna set the record straight before they start lying about us, our behavior and such. And all this about Santa Claus being a vegan, you know, this is this thing, we got to set the record straight. So that's what Chris and I are doing. And what we're trying to do is we're talking about our approach to the holidays, which we do, we may not think about it, but we do have a lot -  Our influence really does determine how much fun the holidays are for our family.

Chris Alessi  2:05  
Absolutely. Especially as men, we, we set the tone, even though we let them - even if you know you let your wife set the tone for decorations or whatever. The way you behave can determine a lot about the holiday season. So we'll talk about that.

Steve Alessi  2:22  
Yeah, not you behave. What did you mean? You behave? You pointing the finger at me?

Chris Alessi  2:26  
No, the men.

Steve Alessi  2:27  
Good. You're, you're coming into your own, buddy.

Chris Alessi  2:30  
 I'm recognizing it for myself too. 

Steve Alessi  2:32  
Oh, yeah. 

Chris Alessi  2:33  
The man. 

Steve Alessi  2:33  
Okay. Is the house decorated at all for Christmas or is it? 

Chris Alessi  2:36  
So it's still, at the time of the filming of this podcast, we're still set up for fall. 

Steve Alessi  2:42  

Chris Alessi  2:42  
We are about to start setting up for Christmas. 

Steve Alessi  2:45  
Yes.Did you set up last Christmas? 

Chris Alessi  2:47  
No, I was alone. 

Steve Alessi  2:48  
That's right. 

Chris Alessi  2:48  
We were married 

Steve Alessi  2:49  
...over and help you set up anything? 

Chris Alessi  2:51  
No, no, no, we were alone. I was alone.

Steve Alessi  2:52  

Chris Alessi  2:53  
Now this year, we're setting up

Steve Alessi  2:55  
this is going to be good. Your first year married and this will be a first for you. 

Chris Alessi  2:59  

Steve Alessi  2:59  
As well as you Muina. Yes. Please don't say too much, buddy.

Chris Alessi  3:03  
They have all that room they gotta set up.

Steve Alessi  3:06  
That is cruel. That is cruel. So let's talk about some things. First off, what are your some some of your memories of holidays past?

Chris Alessi  3:17  
Well, I remember a lot of the stuff that we would do for you know, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Sometimes they'd all kind of mesh but I remember going every Christmas Eve, going to Grandmommy and Papa's house. Remember, every single cousin sitting around, we had traditions in place. And those were so fun. Grandmommy would always buy specific sandwiches just for me and no one else would literally touch them but me. And then I remember those changing and going from less than less of big family to more our family because our family was big. 

Steve Alessi  3:50  

Chris Alessi  3:51  
So I remember that. I remember some of the cabin trips we would take and then making the change to let's do that on our own in Georgia. And I remember a lot of those things. Remember fights, remember all of the added weight and expectation of the holidays, creating fights, but I remember some of the the most fun we've ever had the real decompressing at the end of the year and yeah, resting recuperating. I remember a lot of that. 

Steve Alessi  4:18  
Now all of that is part of the holidays. And...

Chris Alessi  4:22  
oh, I remember accidentally lighting a tree on fire. Remember, I'm going to let everyone know right now, whichever camera when they say sparklers are harmless, they lie. Because I was told, I think I was five or six years old at Grandmommy and Papa's house. And I..

Steve Alessi  4:37  
You were older than that. 

Chris Alessi  4:37  
No, I wasn't. No, I was not because I remember it was one of the first times I had a sparkler. And I remember that, because I didn't want to do sparklers. But they said it's harmless. It's harmless. And so I'm holding on to it and I'm so enamored by the fire and you go, "Chris, Chris throw it!" But I throw it too early. So I flung it into palm trees. And those were set ablaze by a sparkler. That's, that's locked into memory there.

Steve Alessi  5:04  
Yeah. Well, they are some of the greatest times that we could have together. And that's what we want to talk about how can we prepare as men coming to the holidays and really bringing as much fun as possible. We do... We set the temperature of what the holidays are like, It's... I'm not somebody that dresses up for the October 31 event. But the family had some friends over you guys, And so 

Chris Alessi  5:40  
And you dressed up. 

Steve Alessi  5:41  
So I'm listening to everybody talk about what they're going to be wearing. And I ran into my closet. And I thought, okay. I had to go to grandma's house first, because I had to go pick up something, fix a door and take out the garbage for her and everything. So I was, I thought, you know, I'mma show up in this uniform. So I pulled out my Doral police department chaplain uniform. 

Chris Alessi  6:08  

Steve Alessi  6:09  
With the hat and the big shoes. 

Chris Alessi  6:11  
And that's how you showed up at her house? 

Steve Alessi  6:12  
Patent leather belt. And I put that thing on, and I came out, and everybody was going to do a murder mystery. So I thought, let me go ahead and be the cop or the investigator in the murder mystery. And so I went ahead and dressed up, only then to get a text because I guess somebody heard that I was dressed up like that. And they sent me a picture of the Village People. The village people guy, macho, macho man. So anyhow, it's amazing. Because when I stepped out of the closet dressed, Gaby, just got all excited. And of course, they had to all come around Dad! Dad showed up or dressed up for the moment. And it's amazing how it set the atmosphere.

Chris Alessi  6:14  
 It did!

Steve Alessi  6:19  
For a lot of people. 

Chris Alessi  6:23  
We weren't even going to go because we had so much homework, I got that picture. I turned to Richelle. And I go, we've got to go.

Steve Alessi  6:59  
 So dads, the men bring a lot to the table when it comes to the holidays. And it's important that we do.

Chris Alessi  7:13  

Steve Alessi  7:14  
So so how do we do this the right way? I know, from your perspective, this is going to be new for you. And you're going to be blending Richelle's family or the celebration with Richelle's family and the celebration with the Alessi family. And that's your responsibility as a husband. 

Chris Alessi  7:33  

Steve Alessi  7:34  
And it doesn't matter what the dynamics are on both sides, you have to figure a way to make sure your wife is enjoying time with her family. And she's enjoying time with your family. That's gonna be pretty hard for you this year. 

Chris Alessi  7:48  
it is tough. It is, it is very similar to the wedding in the sense that the wedding is for us. But it's also for everyone. And anyone that says it's just one of the other is wrong, it's both.

Steve Alessi  8:01  

Chris Alessi  8:01  
 And in the mean  - the same way. You know, it is our first Christmas together, it is going to be the beginning, you know, the most memorable Christmases for our marriage, the first couple by ourselves and an empty home. You know, it is all that but that's not all it is. It's also, you know, our time to see the grandmothers and to celebrate with them. It's the time to, you know, it's the time where some of our siblings aren't married yet. And we still get to be a part of it. And enjoy them when it's just them. So it's it's a mix of both. It is a mix of both.

Steve Alessi  8:37  
 And it's got to be fair, yes, it does. 

Chris Alessi  8:39  
As much as it can be.

Steve Alessi  8:40  
 as much as it can be. It has to be fair. And here's, here's what you can't do. You just can't say alright. This is now we're we're married. And we're going to do this just for us. Christmas is because, it's our first year together. We're going to just celebrate Christmas for us and forget about the family that invested financially into your weddings, and all the friends that gave you gifts. There's a way that you can make Christmas about you as a couple, but also include the other family members so that the other family members who have invested into your lives are able to enjoy the holidays with you. I mean, for instance, it's -  it could be before Christmas ever arrives. You know, you maybe you choose what family members you're going to hang out with at Thanksgiving. And then what family will you hang out with at Christmas? The first week of December, you know that's your week to start planning. Okay, who are we going to go to dinner with?

Chris Alessi  9:41  

Steve Alessi  9:42  
What family member -  who we're going to jump in a car and drive around and go look at lights, Christmas lights with? Who we're going to go shop with? Who we're going to go get coffee with? You can plan all of that and not just keep it locked into the December 24 or 25th events. Your -  That's your chance to be able to, as you prepare in advance, include everybody. So that then Christmas morning, you and your wife are waken up just the two of us, it's the two of you. And then you know, okay, after two o'clock or something, we're going to go start hanging out with other family or you plan it in between, not that I'm putting any thoughts and ideas into your head.

Chris Alessi  10:22  
You have... but I will say, I will say it comes down to embracing conflict a little bit. It's okay, sometimes...

Steve Alessi  10:31  
 it's totally okay. 

Chris Alessi  10:31  
Sometimes the only true conflict that's hard to deal with is when people try to avoid it. Because then then it bubbles over, your you're pleasing one side way too much. And now you haven't considered, you know, the balance of it. Also, I hope Chris is listening. Because it's, I definitely  - my big takeaway is, hey, embrace the conflict, you know, finding out that mom may want some more attention. More time. It's okay. It's -  yeah, thank God, she told me, you know, or finding out that, hey, you know, this one, this one area, maybe too much, we need to pull it back a little bit for fairness, whatever it may be. Embrace that conflict, you're not going to perfect it, you know, December 1. It's gonna you're gonna have some nights where you're saying, Hey, we were gonna do this tonight. But now we should probably do this tonight. That's okay. Embrace it. And then, of course, like we've said, in prior podcasts, you know, intentionality and discussion on the front end is important. I love what you and mom do. You know, you started talking to me and Richelle and Chris and Stephanie, about the changes for the holidays back in like July. It was like Stephanie, and Chris got back from their honeymoon. And it's like, let's start talking about the holidays. Just because there are expectations, there are - there is weight and responsibility on everybody. And it's good to talk that out first.

Steve Alessi  11:46  
It really is, and the what we have to do as adults - I know I have to remove my ego from it. 

Chris Alessi  11:52  

Steve Alessi  11:53  
 I can't be sitting back thinking, Oh, poor me look at my kids are not doing for me and not doing for mom, I can't do that. I got to sit back and say, Wait, my young adult or adult kids have every right to want things a certain way. It's what you're supposed to do.

Chris Alessi  12:12  

Steve Alessi  12:14  
We just placed such a huge emphasis on the family part of it. And our culture in South Florida, places  places a big emphasis on that family getting together, that if we're not careful, we can put undue pressure on one another. And I don't want to ever - a parents should never pressure their kids to do anything when they're adults and they're married. Yeah, that's on the young adult kid. that's on the young couple of say, Wait, I have to be honoring here, I have to think of my family. I can't be selfish at this point and just want to hover over me and my wife or hover over me and my husband and just control that keep it us and our kids and not include other family that all year long you should be building relationships with - you want to include them. So you have to both be thinking what is the most unselfish way that I can celebrate this holiday, and still find balance with me and my wife and our family getting our alone time, but also, including my extended family members in it. And this is going to be a challenge. It's a challenge with the way I'm even processing with Muina and Steph, you know, and they're going to be having a child next year. I mean, all of this is is thought processes that you have to figure out in an adult mature manner before it ever comes. And that's why I love that we are always trying to promote being people of wisdom in our organization. Because wisdom tells us  - it really does -  it tells us that there is no such thing when it comes to God as unbalanced scales. 

Chris Alessi  13:55  

Steve Alessi  13:55  
He detests....

Chris Alessi  13:56  
He doesn't like unjust scales 

Steve Alessi  13:57  
Unbalanced unjust scales. And yet couples and families have to realize they have to - wisdom brings balance to the table and balance means I give up something in order to get something.

Chris Alessi  14:11  

Steve Alessi  14:11  
I give up a little of "what I have to do. I want" to "Hey, wait a minute, I get to do this. And I get to also embrace my family." You're gonna have a much happier marriage in the long run when you do that.

Chris Alessi  14:25  
Absolutely. I think one of the balances or one of the challenges for me is keeping score. And this is one of the things that you've got to be really mindful of when you're scheduling and planning. 

Steve Alessi  14:37  
 Who'd  you get that from? 

Chris Alessi  14:39  
What do you mean? My mom told me years ago right in the face you keep score way too much and that's just stayed with me for years.

Steve Alessi  14:45  
And she didn't say you just like your father? 

Chris Alessi  14:48  
Honestly, no, she... Oh, she actually didn't to be fair. This is the first I'm hearing this.  You keep score too? Oh my gosh.

Steve Alessi  14:54  
I was just trying to keep score. Who's winning she or me? So sure go.

Chris Alessi  14:58  
That's not even it. It's really not even like, who's winning on my, for me, for me, it's more, I've given you this much. So I'm not going to give you more or feel guilty about not giving you more. 

Steve Alessi  15:08  
But you do feel guilty. 

Chris Alessi  15:09  
Oh, I always do. But the thing that I'm... I even  - I even told Richelle the other day, I said, I need your help with this. If you hear me saying these things too often, I want you to call me out on it. Because what I started to say is, you know, we're going to be with them this day, and we're going to be with them that day. While that all may be true,

Steve Alessi  15:25  
Them,  by the way, podience,  is us, the Alessi family.  Go ahead.

Chris Alessi  15:30  
that's  not, that's not true at all, Chris, back me up. That's not what I'm saying at all, what whatever it may be, is I'm saying, hey, if I'm doing this, call me out, not because I'm wrong. But because I'm going from heart to head. And when I get in my head about it, then I may be with you but I'm not even really with you. I may be at the event, but I'm not really there. It's because in my mind, I've built this case as I'm here, because now I have to be here or I'm not there because hey, I have to keep all the other scales balanced. And I can't do that. And it is kind of hard as the man of the household to be mindful of what my wife wants to be doing all the time. What's the balance there? Do we just do what she wants to do? And I was only going to make her happy? Because that makes me happy. Ultimately, I have to balance that.

Steve Alessi  16:16  
Yeah, no, you do. And you're doing a good job at this point. But that's a good thought. And Chris, one thing you said, this is a beautiful approach of being able to stay on the same page with our spouse, and not allow things to become divisive and combative. When you say to your spouse, and this just side note, sidebar, when you say to your spouse, "Helo me with this." Man, that that really opens up cooperation and it keeps - it it's great for communication.

Chris Alessi  16:48  

Steve Alessi  16:48  
And it keeps it from being something that becomes a bone of contention when you're able to say that. 

Chris Alessi  16:55  
Well, we've discovered both recent and not so recent, I can't always read the room. And my wife has helped me read the room from time to time. We had a funny moment about that in the past. Have we ever brought that up on the podcast? The podcast? No. Okay, well, I was having a hard time reading the room, and she helped. But there are some times where I can't even get a good read on me. And I have to tell her what some of those, I guess barometers are for when I'm starting to get a little too math oriented in, okay, I put my time in there. I want our time, I want my time, whatever. Because even though that's kind of what we're saying, every -  you know, be balanced. That's got to come from a heart place. That's got to come from, we're gonna spend time just you and I because I want to, not because I don't want to be with my family. Or I have to say I want to spend time with you because I want to. And I remember having to go through that and work through that. So telling Richelle "Hey, you know, same way I can't read a room. Sometimes I am not getting a good read on me. So if you hear me saying these things, maybe once Okay, let it go twice. Make a note of it. Before I say it a third time approach me." Because I need that. 

Steve Alessi  18:08  

Chris Alessi  18:09  
 I need that.

Steve Alessi  18:09  
 Well, let's talk about something else. Money.

Chris Alessi  18:15  
 What is that?

Steve Alessi  18:15  
 You're newly married. You're on a budget. You've got responsibilities calling on you and your finances that are putting certain pressures and demands on you. Here's what could really  - this could really hurt the holidays. And I've learned from my experience on this one. Struck out a number of times when it came to money and the holidays.

Chris Alessi  18:42  
It's okay, because the best baseball players still strike out six out of 10 times.

Steve Alessi  18:46  
Yeah. And we look at Christmas videos. And we're like, why did we spend so much on it somehow or other the Lord always provided in? Yeah, our savings didn't have much, but you guys had a lot for Christmas. But here's sometimes, we have to be thinking in terms of budgeting in advance, so that you don't experience... it's real. Buyer's remorse on 15th day of January, is real when you have to now pay that credit card for all of those expenses that you incurred during Christmas. And I'm not just talking about gifts. I'm talking about the food, the families, the dinners that you go out and the parties and the celebrations. How do you -  how do we prepare ourselves in advance and from a man's perspective? In our home, I pay the bills. 

Chris Alessi  19:40  

Steve Alessi  19:41  
 Mom spends the money? Not true. I spend as much money sometimes even more. Hunting is not a cheap hobby. It's expensive. So no doubt I come to the table. It's easier to point a finger at her when... Why are you drinking your coffee so slow, like you're hiding all of a sudden?

Chris Alessi  20:00  
 I'm listening. 

Steve Alessi  20:00  
Okay, cool, because you're almost like, oh, yeah, mom's right on this one,  you do spend too much money.

Chris Alessi  20:06  
Actually, I was gonna defend you. 

Steve Alessi  20:08  

Chris Alessi  20:08  

Steve Alessi  20:09  
 Okay. With this, Chris, I Need you to help me with this. Okay, so here's the point, though. When it comes time I handle the money in our family.

Chris Alessi  20:19  
 Yes, you do.

Steve Alessi  20:19  
 I pay the bills.

Chris Alessi  20:20  
 Yes, you do.

Steve Alessi  20:20  
I'm responsible for that stuff, right? Mom is very, very aware of spending, especially as we have gotten older, 34 years down the road now married. She's aware of the spending, and she works hard to make sure that now we're staying within a certain budget. But it hasn't always been that way. So while she was out, having fun, the happy go lucky person in the....

Chris Alessi  20:47  
 Seven on the Enneagram. 

Steve Alessi  20:49  
Okay, having fun going shopping, she would come home and I'd go looking for the receipts. And then I would start questioning. Okay, who's that for? And I would have a list. Okay? We would start with okay. Steve, Mary, Christopher, we'd have all the kids names. And I'd say Mary, whatever you buy, put on our list and tell me how much it was. And we tried to make sure "Okay, everybody was whatever. 100 bucks, 200 bucks. 500 bucks." We wanted to make sure. Alright, let's keep it fair. But it wasn't so much keep it fair. It was let's keep a budget. 

Chris Alessi  21:23  

Steve Alessi  21:23  
Keep control of stuff. All right. And so we would always start good. But about the second week or so of shopping that list got totally ignored. 

Chris Alessi  21:33  
That was back when there was actual toy stores.

Steve Alessi  21:35  
 Yes, there were and so we ended up then always ....I ended up always.... get it right. Being upset, and putting pressure on mom to Okay, either take something back, which was rarely the case or stopped spending. And usually it was then another 15 or so things that were still on her list that she needed to get. But she would go looking for one thing and then get distracted with about four or five other things and grab those. And then she was shopping for herself instead of the kids, and instead of me and then. So it was always an issue. And if again, a guy is kind of like the thermometer or the thermostat that sets the temperature in the home around the holidays. This is an area that should be addressed upfront.

Chris Alessi  22:23  
 Oh, yeah.

Steve Alessi  22:23  
 And then I think there's some good things first, you know, that joking about it is not a bad thing. When we joke about the money, it took away some of the stress as we would make...

Chris Alessi  22:34  
Comedic relief. 

Steve Alessi  22:35  
There you go. So I would make jokes or she'd make jokes, she'd look at me and think, oh, there's that or say, there's that look on your face. Again, you're thinking in accountant mode, you know, or it kind of made me realize, okay, there I am, I'm in that headspace of mine. Let me fix it. Or I'd go in and I'd see her shopping. And here, she tells me she's going to go shop for you. And all of a sudden she's over there in, you know, Nordstroms for herself. And I'd come up and make some comment. Oh, yeah, you're not in the children's section, you know. So that helped a little bit. You know, it seemed like the only store I didn't mind her going into was Victoria's Secret for some reason. Not really sure about that. 

Chris Alessi  23:16  
 Sorry, Chris.  

Steve Alessi  23:16  
Joking about the money aspect of it does take away some of the stress. And it should be light hearted, I think also discussing it helps the person whoever is carrying the load financially, it helps them carry the load, it lightens it a little if you're able to both sit down and discuss what the budget should be and try to maintain the discipline that is required. And, you know, once a week, sit down, say, Hey, how are we doing? Okay, well, there was unexpected expenses over here for dinner that we needed, or we needed to pick up an extra gift for the boss or something like that, you know, it's good to be able to discuss that because then the person who's carrying the load of paying the bills, feels as though they're getting help. If you can just discuss it along the way, it's going to help them feel like alright, I'm not doing this alone. And then I do think you need to agree on spending. You need to. You need to be able to say alright, whether this is a gift that we're going to buy as a family to give each other or it's a trip that we're going to take and maybe this year like in our case, we're not going to be giving gifts to each other we're going to go on a trip and the gift that we would have been giving will be now money spent on us getting away and enjoying some time away together as a family. So if you at least can agree on that way before the holidays start to show up, that's going to help you when it comes to the money. And then work on understanding the other. Mom's a buyer on the payer of the bills so I know the family, just from my perspective, yes, I gotta keep my head down, I want to see the money and where it's spent, and I want to pay the bills, I got to do that. But I also know if gosh, I was the one responsible for Christmas morning, it really wouldn't be all jolly, it wouldn't be all fun. Because the money wasn't being spent. So I realized, or the gifts wouldn't be given. So I realized that mom really does help the family celebrate the holiday.  I know her role is the buyer. Because quite frankly, sometimes I use my desire to not go shopping. I don't want to go get up in the crowd of shopping and handle the traffic. And sometimes I'll use spending as an excuse for not wanting to go shopping.

Chris Alessi  25:46  
Have to leave the house. 

Steve Alessi  25:47  
But mom, my gosh, she can get up and go shopping. And she's energized. 

Chris Alessi  25:51  
Oh, yeah. 

Steve Alessi  25:52  
Oh, I don't know how it energizes her to go and run and walk by these stores and buy this and buy that? I'm dreading it. I'm thinking, how many bags do I got to carry? And how far do I got to park away from the front door? How much do I got to tip the guy to bring my car to... these things in my mind, I am not a good person when it comes to bringing the fun for the holidays. But she is. So I need to tap into that and understand it. And at the same time, she's learned how to understand, alright, Steve's not all that crazy when we're out here shopping, but he's gonna have to sit there in that room and stroke that check and pay the bill. And she's aware of that. So I think that's helpful for us.

Chris Alessi  26:30  
I think so too. I think it's important for kids to understand, hey, let dad be Dad, let mom be mom. If Dad's not the best at bringing the fun cuz he's stroking the check, then you bring the fun, then encourage mom and bringing the fun, help dad. But don't try to force in this case, don't try to force Dad to be like mom, too. And don't get mad at dad for being Dad. You know, what we found is if there ever was a moment where the stress was so high for this reason that it was coming out a little bit. We don't make things better by telling you not to be that way. It's probably about hey, let the steam run out, and then move on and start laughing. The only times that ever kind of ruined an event was when we really added to it. When we were like "why do you got to be that way, just have fun!" Then it was like, Okay, now we had a blow up. But there were like you talked about joking. Even if it's not so jokey just let it come out, sit down and recognize, okay, this is... this is stressful, let him be, let him get it out there. But don't go back. Because one of the things that I'm finding now, being married, and I'm actually on the lucky side of this conversation, because Richelle is the responsible one. I'm the one who has to lay down my pride here. Because I'm the one who's like, it's $20 extra, don't you, don't - don't make me feel like you think I can't find $20 to take care of this, you want it, you go get it. I'm the one that has to lower my pride and be like, You know what, no, we've actually made a budget. Not that I enjoy spending. But I don't ever like to feel like you're...somebody feels like our our environment or our moment is less because we don't have as much money as we want. So I'm lucky, you know, Richelle calls October, November her months because we have saved a lot. And she goes so that way in December, we can have a Chris month. So I love that. I'm lucky. But that comes down to me letting her be her to lowering my price. Let her be her. She's going to be good and help me with that. So I think that goes to you, you know, let dad be dad. Let dad experience this. come alongside and help a little bit. You know, I think that's all a huge part of it. If this is everything that you're telling one of the men listening, well, if you're a kid listening if you're an adult listening and you know, let let other people be who they are in these moments. And don't try to you know fit. What is it a square peg into a round hole? No, don't try to do that. It's not them be there.

Steve Alessi  29:01  
Yeah. Imagine how hard this is for families that are divorced.

Chris Alessi  29:06  
I'm sure.

Steve Alessi  29:06  
It's the holidays are supposed to be so fun. But then you're dealing with your exes getting time with your kids. 

Chris Alessi  29:19  
Buying them better gifts. 

Steve Alessi  29:20  
Buying them gifts. You can't help but determine or wonder what got- gift they gave them as opposed to the gift they gave you. What about when your kids ask you for money to buy your ex's girlfriend or new spouse a gift? 

Chris Alessi  29:35  
Ow wee. 

Steve Alessi  29:36  
 That's got to be tough.

Chris Alessi  29:37  
Yeah, I have nothing to add to that conversation. But that's got to be super tough.

Steve Alessi  29:41  
That's gotta be tough. And then how do you schedule your time around the holidays? Do you ever just get together everybody in one room? Are you able to do that?

Chris Alessi  29:53  
Should you if the kids want to, should you I mean, that's hard.

Steve Alessi  29:56  
That's, that's real hard. That's real hard. And I think when the wound... wound is so fresh, it's probably impossible. But maybe with time, for the sake of the family unit, that's now it's been fractured, no doubt. You have to consider maybe having to really swallow hard to do something during the holidays you don't want to do and hopefully you don't drink too much when you do get together with them just to be able to cope. That's, that's, that's not easy.

Chris Alessi  30:29  

Steve Alessi  30:30  
That's not easy. However, if you're giving some thought to it, with a lot of time ahead of you, if you're giving time to it, preparing for it, maybe there's a way that you can see the holidays a little bit more enjoyable this year, because you are preparing in advance. And you're saying all right, this is what I realize. I'm gonna just have to grin and bear it and swallow hard and do the sake for it. Because who's it going to be for who's Christmas for?

Chris Alessi  31:03  
Everyone else. 

Steve Alessi  31:04  
It seeams to be everybody else. As much as I would like for Christmas to be about me, I know that I have right now another seven of... people in my family, immediate family that need me to be focusing on them, because I just can't make it about Dad. And it's got to be about the rest of the family members. And that comes to even the way in which we spend the money. Big, big discussions can still be had here, Chris. Wow. But what are we talking about today, we're trying to say as men, we do set the thermostat on how fun Christmas is going to be. And we need to make sure we come to the table prepared and bringing our best game and trying to make it as fun and as memorable as possible. 



Chris Alessi  31:58 know I'm... using the example of a budget, when you do plan your budget, or you do plan your time for the year. Don't treat it like a budget in the sense that Dave Ramsey would tell you, the budget you said at first is not going to be the perfect budget, you're gonna have to make some changes here and there. So be flexible with it, that's good. In the same way. You know, maybe you are a single mom and you're like, you know what I'm gonna, I'm gonna try to go be in a room with them. You know, take it year by year, don't say this will be a new tradition. Just say we're gonna try it. And if next year, we got to change things, we change things, set the tone for the family and say, Hey, we are going to try to stick to this budget if you go $100 Over. Okay. And now you know for the next year, $100 isn't gonna sink anybody. Okay, next year, we'll set it at 100 bucks more. Or... 

Steve Alessi  32:44  

Chris Alessi  32:45  
Hey, I am...I am, you know, planning on spending this night with you? And if by the next day, I'm like, Okay, I've learned something I got to look at. It's loose. set the tone, but be be loose with it too. So.

Steve Alessi  32:59  
Oh, Chris. Yeah. Muina, By the way, I want to tell you what I want for Christmas. So make sure you get it for me. And yeah, ammo. 

Chris Alessi  33:08  
That's profound Chris.

Steve Alessi  33:09  
Or Camo. 

Chris Alessi  33:10  
and or camo.

Steve Alessi  33:11  
that will be helpful. Alright, Mr. Christopher Alessi. This has been another edition of our family business podcast with Chris and Steve Alessi and thanks for joining us and even having Muina at the table with us. What? Happy Holidays?

Chris Alessi  33:30  
Merry Christmas.

Steve Alessi  33:30  
Merry Christmas.


Chris AlessiProfile Photo

Chris Alessi

Pastor / Author / Speaker

Christopher Alessi was born and raised In the beautiful and diverse city of Miami Florida. He earned his bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in leadership communication at Florida international University.

Christopher serves as the next generation pastor in the church that his parents, Pastor Steve and Mary Alessi, founded and continue to lead, Metro Life Church. His desire is that all children, youth and young adults would recognize the true Ephesians 3:20 nature of God and inspire others to do the same. At his side in ministry and in life are his wife Richelle and his three young adult sisters, Stephanie, Lauren and Gabrielle.