Saturday

Disney’s Mickey & Minnie’s Gift of the Magi

One night while preparing the children for bed, one of my sons went over to a cabinet where he stores his books and pulled out one that made me look at my financial woes a little differently. Disney’s Mickey & Minnie’s Gift of the Magi by Bruce Talkington and illustrated by Fernando Guell Cano was the book my son selected for me to read.

The book starts off with “It was the day before Christmas…” right away I was interested given the time period at which my son brought me the book – mind you he is only 3. The story begins with telling us about Mickey’s woes” his coat not warm enough, Christmas tree not large enough, and his pockets were empty. Well by this time I am really into this book, because it is describing similar real life situations I have been in and currently face. But despite all of this Mickey is playing his harmonica.

As Mickey and Pluto stroll down the street, Mickey notices a necklace in a store front window. While I am reading, I am thinking, “The happiness and music just stopped for you Mickey.” But the optimistic mouse’s discovery makes him determined to get this gift to go with Minnie’s watch. Now Mickey is reminded by his empty pockets that he can’t get the necklace, but he tells his dog Pluto that “you and I are going to make lots of tips today…” Meanwhile, Minnie is at home having a problem that is very much the kind we as mothers can relate to and that is a pile of unpaid bills. She tells her cat, “There’s nothing but bills how am I ever going to afford to get Mickey a present?” She quickly realizes Mickey is at the door and rather than bombard him with a list of worries, the book says she “shoved the bills in a drawer and raced into the living room.”

As I read more, Minnie wants to get a case for Mickey’s harmonica because she notices that he wraps it up in an old rag.
Now I am thinking at this point that neither Mickey nor Minnie don’t have children, no fancy car (because he dropped her off at work riding a dog sled – LOL) so why all the bills? They have two jobs between them.

Anyway, Mickey has a hard boss who could care less about the sentiments of Christmas just the money that the Christmas trees bring. Mickey is working very hard and ends up acquiring enough money to get Minnie’s necklace; however just as luck would have it his boss would take his money. He did this because he didn’t like Mickey disrupting his efforts to rip a poor father off by up-selling him on a tree they didn’t want and lying that the expensive trees was all he had. Mickey sold the family a cheaper tree. Mickey’s boss threw him and the dog off his property. However, nothing good comes of the boss and he ended up burning his money and his trees up due to a lit cigar he was smoking. Meanwhile at Minnie’s job, a bonus she was expecting from her boss ended up being a fruitcake.

While the firefighters put out the fire, Mickey played his harmonica. The firefighters heard him because they were due to attend a toy drive and play in the band. Mickey joined them. However, the writer of the story doesn’t write that Mickey receives any money for his efforts – I am thinking, “Isn’t that typical.” Mickey eventually leaves in time to meet the store owner who has the necklace he wants to get for Minnie, so he trades his harmonica for the necklace. Meanwhile, Minnie had traded her watch for a case for Mickey’s harmonica. The story ends with the couple wishing one another a Merry Christmas. The writer adds, “It was a Christmas they’d never forget.”

Can I just remind you this is a children’s book? My three-year-old is just looking at the pictures. He doesn’t know that the book he brought to me spoke into our family’s current situation. The only difference is rather than making trades, we borrowed credit to make the end of our story a Merry Christmas.

What I found rather odd is that although this is a children’s book, in addition to parents and children, this story should be read to childless couples too. From the looks of things the mice have nothing to show for all this debt they acquired and if they had babies, you could only imagine what kind of hours they would be putting in at work! If they were willing to work extra hard just to buy two simple gifts they would be working even harder for their families.

I don’t want to read too deeply into this simple story, but the lesson I learned after re-reading this is the debt the mice acquired most likely came from spoiling one another. We spoil our children, partners and ourselves and then we cry when our backs are up against the wall and can’t pay for anything. Those mice were working hard to give one another everything they needed and wanted and then when it came down to a gift that really mattered to each of them, neither one could help due to all their past debt. The stress of bills will make any mother in over her head cry!

So the moral of the story is when you are in debt, don’t do what Mickey did in the beginning of the story, gaze in the store front window. Ignore the emails, click past the eBay link, throw away the catalogs, and even say no to the needy people on the street when you know you are already obligated to your lenders. Most of all, don’t allow your burdens and other people’s attitudes or cheap giving take your happiness away, like Mickey kept playing his harmonica, you keep on playing yours!

God bless.

Nicholl McGuire
Check out my writings at Triond

Note: Typical Disney why would they title this book like this...Magi? Needless to say, Disney books have been removed off my children's shelves after seeing way too many occult things going on between the pages.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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