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Business Lessons from your Favourite Christmas Films | SmartPA




As we get deeper into December, there’s nothing quite so comforting as putting on a pair of embarrassing pyjamas, getting a hot chocolate on the go and settling in to watch a cheesy Christmas film.

Despite their fluffy, schmaltzy exterior, a lot of our favourite Christmas classics have actually got a surprising amount we can take from them – which is your favourite?

Home Alone

We all wanted to be Kevin McCallister when we were kids, didn’t we? He looked like he was having the time of his life, except for the whole ‘being forgotten by his parents and having to fight off burglars’ thing.

If you re-watch it as an adult, you might have a few more questions, like ‘how did he come up with all of these elaborate plans on the spot when it takes me four coffees to be able to open a spreadsheet?’, or ‘how did his parents pay the mortgage for that massive house?’.

Kevin’s increasingly weird and wonderful traps just go to show what happens when you trust your instincts and don’t try to stifle your creativity.

As kids, we were all far more unrestrained than we are as adults – which is obviously a good thing in most cases, but it does mean we lose touch with our imaginations and start to doubt our ideas.

If you’re going to take any lessons from Home Alone, it’s a) don’t forget your kids when you go on holiday, and b) don’t limit yourself – keep dreaming up those big ideas, ya filthy animal.


If you haven’t seen Elf, then first of all, where have you been for the past 17 years?

Essentially, it’s Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who has been raised by elves, before setting off to New York to try to find his real father.

The biggest lesson doesn’t come from the hyperactive, perpetually cheery Buddy, but more from his overworked, perpetually grouchy (and far more relatable) father, Walter.

Working as a children’s book publisher, Walter spends his life listening to rubbish book pitches, staying at the office until midnight and pretty much having no fun whatsoever.

Naturally, by the end of the film, he’s quit his thankless job to spend more time with his family and ends up happier than ever.

The moral of the story? Quit your job!

Nah, not really.

It just serves to remind us that work isn’t the be-all and end-all, so keeping a work-life balance is super important. We’re sure you don’t need a 2-metre man in an elf costume to remind you of that, though.


A Christmas Carol

Hey, say what you want about Ebenezer Scrooge, but the guy really knew how to turn a profit – we could all do with those kinds of bookkeeping skills!

But other than that, we can’t say we’d love to have him as an employer.

Miserly, greedy and selfish, Scrooge famously turned away charity workers at his front door and wasn’t happy about letting his loyal clerk, Bob Cratchit, having Christmas Day off to be with his family.

Enter three ghosts to teach him a thing or two (who else was scared of The Ghost of Christmas Future in The Muppet Christmas Carol?) and he soon learns the error of his ways, giving Bob a well-deserved pay rise and paying off his mortgage.

It’s a pretty obvious lesson, granted, but it does go to show the importance of looking after your employees – what are the chances that Bob had his resignation letter ready to hand in after the New Year?

You don’t need to pay off their mortgages. But a little kindness goes a long way.

It’s a Wonderful Life

We completely get why Phoebe in Friends could never get to the end of It’s a Wonderful Life – up until the happy ending, it’s not an easy watch.

Our hero, George Bailey, runs a savings and loans bank that gets into a lot of financial trouble (where’s Scrooge’s bookkeeping skills when you need them?) and he ends up losing everything.

At rock bottom, he gets visited by an angel who shows him what life would have been like if he’d never existed (spoiler alert: it’s not great).

So, what does George do?

He reaches out for help. His honesty about his situation helps to win over the investors and encourages the townspeople to rally around him to get him back on his feet.

Asking for help is never easy, and a lot of us like to think we can do everything ourselves, but there’s nothing wrong with needing a helping hand, particularly when it comes to your business.


Miracle on 34th Street

Remember in the original film when a customer couldn’t find what she wanted in Macy’s, so Kris Kringle sent her to Gimbel’s instead? And the bosses were furious, as their customer had been sent to a direct competitor, losing them some immediate profit.

Those bosses weren’t thinking long-term now, were they? Because as a result of good ol’ Kris Kringle’s stellar customer service, Macy’s end up with a flurry of good press from happy parents who weren’t fobbed off by the store.

Now, doesn’t that just prove the importance of strong customer service? It’s not just about getting a great reputation for yourself, but a happy customer is more likely to be a repeat customer – it may have cost them a few sales, but in the long run, Macy’s profited off its fresh and honest approach to customer service.

Whatever lessons you’ve learned this holiday season, SmartPA’s virtual assistants are happy to support your business wherever it’s needed.

Feel free to drop us a message or give us a call.

Every time our phone rings, an angel gets its wings.