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Happy New Year to Mom

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"Baboo" Weatherly

Happy New Year! It was a year ago today that I held my mother’s hand as she quietly slipped away forever.  It snowed that day in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and is a day I will  always hold in quiet reverence.

May your New Year’s Day be a joyous one – and spend it with a loved one.  I will.

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I gave the first larger presentation of my new “Money Matrix Method”(tm) to a group of attendees at the recent Love and Money Summit in San Francisco.  Here is Part 1 of my talk; more to follow in future posts:

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christmas in germany

Christmas in Germany

Christmas in Germany has a tradition going back centuries before the birth of Christ.  I can’t make it this year, but  do have fond memories of Christmases past . . .

What reminded me was that we may have a White Christmas in Atlanta for the first time since 1882!! (In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t snow much here in the South).  We didn’t even have snow flurries for  Christmas except in  1993 . . . and that was also the year I missed them!

I was in Germany for the first time, so I wasn’t too sad.   I was visiting Munich for Christmas with my new girlfriend (now wife) Brigitte. I soon learned that celebrating this time of year was not just about store sales, Home Alone and Charlie Brown TV specials, and the Grinch.  Here they did things right . . . the old-fashioned way.

Christmastime (Weinachten) is a magical time in Deutschland. This country, in fact, created the whole Yule celebration as we know it today.  Germany and Austria had everything:  Snow.  Sleigh rides with horses.  Church bills ringing.  Singing and caroling.  Candle lighting and much more.

The only business carried on was by those who had artisan booths at the ChristKindlMarkt or the numerous coffeehouses that dotted every village and town.  Families also gathered to pray, eat, and visit the old cemeteries to pay their respects to fallen elders. And everybody ate, drank and insisted on being merry . . . and attending Church Mass, of course.

But THESE churches are not commercial warehouses with crosses stuck on them.  They  are CATHEDRALS . . . towering monuments to the sacred commitment of thousands of artisans over a thousand years.  The beauty and majesty of each church – even the small ones – reminded me of how a Bach or a Mozart could be inspired to write such phenomenal music.

Growing up in semi-tropical Savannah, Georgia, I could only dream about such an idyllic setting.  But here it was . . . a real Christmas at last!

christmas in germany

Christmas 2005

Being on hand to experience Christmas in Germany first-hand was like being a 5-year-old all over again.  When my 2-year old niece Christina at the time (she’s 19 now, 3rd from left in the picture) first saw the Christmas Tree and  lit her sparkler on Christmas Eve to welcome the ChristKind (Christ child), I was just as wide-eyed as she was!

The German Christmas season officially begins with the first Sunday of Advent, and the ChristKindlMarkt opens in each city and town to great fanfare.  StollenKuchen, the oldest known German Christmas treat, and Christmas cookies (Plätzchen) are available in every other stall. Gingerbread houses, nativity scenes, hand-carved wooden Nutcracker figures (Nussknacker), Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramiden), and lighted city streets and homes are all signs that Christmas EVE is on its way (Christmas DAY is almost an afterthought to most Catholic Germans).

The Advent wreath (Adventskranz) is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The first Advent wreath, which appeared in the mid-19th century, had 4 larger candles and 19 smaller ones. Each day one additional candle was lit to help the children count the days until Christmas.   Today only the four larger candles remain. However, the tradition has been exported to many other countries around the world and was adapted to existing customs. The Eastern Orthodox Church’s Advent wreath has 6 candles in order to last through a somewhat longer Advent season.

The Advent wreath has a very ancient tradition.  The ring of light existed among the Germanic tribes, in fact, many centuries before the celebration of Advent. It is believed that fewer candles were lit with each progressive lighting to represent the shortening of the days until the solstice, at which time the Julfest celebrated the return of light. (Incidentally, the English word yule is derived from the Germanic Jul).

Frohe Wienachten! (Merry Christmas!)
Advent, Advent …ein Lichtlein brennt
erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier
dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.

(Advent, Advent . . . a candlelight burns,
first one, then two, then three, then four,
then stands the Christ Child at the door.)

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Love and Money Summit Success

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Craig & Wade

Drs. Craig & Wade

Whew! After missing a night’s sleep and traveling cross-country, I then attempted to make a presentation at the Love and Money Summit I’ve never done before (The Money Matrix Method) with some new technology I’ve never used before.  disaster, right?

Actually, no.  Although I was delayed about 10 minutes due to technical difficulties and some of the jokes fell flat ( just had to try them, didn’t I?), the presentation itself went over with great results and fanfare.

You can get more information on the content of my presentation at

Dr. Brenda Wade and her staff pulled of an amazing feat of planning and execution in getting this event off the ground.  Although there were a few glitches, her love and support for all the speakers and participants was phenomenal!

I plan to post more details on the Love and Money Summit itself – including videos on Dr. John Gray, Dr. Wade, Brad King, and snippets of some of the other GREAT speakers and performers, in future blog posts.  Stay tuned!

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Dr. John Gray

Dr. John Gray, keynote speaker

Tomorrow I fly from Atlanta to beautiful San Francisco for the second annul Love and Money Summit, put on by Dr. Brenda Wade at the luxurious Hotel Kabuki in Japan Town.

The event will be kicked off Thursday night with a reception and concert.  I’m on the itinerary Friday afternoon, sharing speaking duties that day with none other than Dr. John Gray, the event’s keynote speaker, and author of Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Venus. Dr. Gray’s topic “Mars and Venus: Love and Money” is scheduled for Friday morning at 11.

I will be presenting material from my upcoming book The Money Matrix: How You Sabotage Your Success and What to Do About It from 2:30-3:45 pm.

I want to see you there! Tickets are still available at

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