Young man celebrating Christmas at home and decorating christmas tree. Home is decorated with Christmas ornaments and lights.

First Friday Message

Kris Kringle

As you all know, I’m the proud father of a beautiful little girl who continually amazes and impresses us with every breath and step she takes. She’s a bright only child of older parents and very mature for her age. We challenge her to keep her mind active and forward-looking and we’ve often left longing for the little girl of 4, 5, and 6 years old that we miss so dearly.

But every once in a while, she reminds us that this “old-soul” 9-year-old that we see in front of us is still just a little girl after all…and we love it. She still holds my hand when we cross a street, she tries to hide candy wrappers under her bed, and occasionally she still asks to be tucked in at night. (We know this last thing is mostly an effort to stall at bedtime.)

Now that she’s on the doorstep of being a double-digit girl, my wife and I know we’re approaching the time for lots of interesting conversations. And like any respectable #GirlDad, I’ve appointed my wife as the responsible person to have these conversations. I know she’ll do a great job!

The oncoming holidays have surfaced the unavoidable conversation about “Mr. Kringle”. As it stands, our baby girl is a fervent admirer of good ole Kris, and the look in her eyes every Christmas morning once Kris has made his visit is well worth all of the late-night shenanigans that we invariably undertake. That said, this little girl is not completely oblivious to the many loopholes in Kris’ supply chain management structure. She very pointedly asked last year why Kris’ “helpers” needed to print barcodes on the gifts.

See what I’m dealing with?

But at some point, this all ends, right? Or does it have to?

Public Relations 101 teaches that the messenger should always be in control of the message. At some point, likely MUCH sooner than later, we’ll have to shed some light on the source of Kris’ manufacturing business and we’ll probably be heartbroken because I think what we’re really trying to avoid is the end of the age of innocence, wonder, and fantasy.

When I first started the First Friday messages, one of the goals of it was to bring our members, donors, and friends a little closer to what’s happening at the Y and give you some insight into why I am leading our Y in the direction that we’re heading. Truthfully, some have declined this medium and prefer to remain in a consumer-only relationship and I respect that. Many others, over the past 15 months, have responded with questions, concerns, criticisms, and a few compliments.

At the end of it all, I am working to evolve the relationship of member, donor, or friend to one where you know that I consider you to be a part of our Y family, and with that comes a departure from a static transactional relationship. When you’re family, we share more about what’s behind the scenes and I will continue to do so in our time ahead.

I wish the happiest of holidays to you all.

Until next time…

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®