We hope you all had great holidays! I took time off from blog-writing to recover from too many parties, one of which was hosting our usual family Christmas Eve dinner where we gave the gifts of cold hard cash. We long ago gave up trying to figure out what two daughters in their 50s and three young men ages 26 to 31 might want for Christmas. For the grandsons, it was so easy when they were little tykes and would be happy getting any toy with wheels on them. So now we give them all money, but as mentioned in an earlier blog, we make them work for it.
What we didn’t mention are the forms that must be signed by all money-receiving significant others in order to get their gifts. It is known as the “Christmas Gift Letter of Understanding,” and says in part
I understand that this gift has been presented to me in good faith even though I am not married to ____________________; however, should this relationship end, I will pay restitution to Pat Detmer & Fred Canada in the form of the aforesaid $100 plus 5% over the interest rate in effect at the time of the relationship termination.
We have forms on file for several long-timers, but there always seems to be a new girlfriend at Christmas Eve in spite of everything that we do. So far, girlfriends and boyfriends have laughed and happily signed, and we’ve never gone to court to claim our monies or interest accrued after a break-up. It does occur to me as I write this, however, that none of them are married, and I’m beginning to wonder if Christmas Eve has something to do with that.
Obviously we’re just having fun with this, but it is seriously important to have the right forms to proceed when selling and buying of a business. We regularly have our forms vetted by a lawyer, and we’re adamant about not providing information before we have the appropriate form in hand. We get the location question a lot: “Before I sign this Non-Disclosure Agreement, where is this business?” Sorry. Please sign the NDA first. We’re as fussy as my Midwestern grade school nuns when it comes to things like that.
But business forms don’t need to be multi-paged, dense, and difficult to understand. They can be simple and straightforward and still do the job, and we always vote for simplicity.
You might wonder how the Christmas Eve document signers know that we’re kidding. I’m pretty sure they figure it out when they see this at the bottom: