The Ugly Truth About Christmas


It’s that wonderful time of year when holiday cheer is in the air. Everyone is in a hurry and trying to beat the dreaded deadline of shopping, cooking, and finding a new place for the elf on the shelf. The hustle and bustle begins in November and doesn’t stop until the end of the first week of January. For 60 days we are focused on completing everything that has to be done and not on what really counts, each other.

I am a self-proclaimed scrooge when it comes to Christmas. The only thing I truly enjoy is my family and midnight mass (aka 10:00 mass.) This year I decided to change all that and go back to basics. With the complete support of my family and team at Harness TechED, I bought the most amazing Ugly Sweater Christmas Suit with the sole purpose of bringing smiles to everyone’s face. To date I have worn the suit 3 times, taken nearly 100 photos, and have said MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone I met. Put yourself out there and see what a difference you can make.

Here’s the first ugly truth about Christmas. We don’t share with each other what makes this time of year special. This time of year is a gift. A gift that is simple and easy to pass on. Some of us call it faith, others call it friendship, but at its core it is best known as humanity. Take the time to look around. I call this the It’s A Wonderful Life goggles. Do something small that makes a difference in someone’s life. Smile for no reason. Give someone a card. Shake a strangers hand and say MERRY CHRISTMAS.

The best part about the past 7 days is:

  1. Saying MERRY CHRISTMAS out loud to everyone I met.
  2. Using my business as a way to give back to the community (Time & Money.)
  3. Wearing a stupid Ugly Sweater Christmas Suit to help ME regain some Christmas Spirit


Out of everything and everyone I tried to help this season, I let 2 people down (Lauren and Stephen Sullivan.) Lauren and Stephen were married shortly before Veteran’s Day in November. Stephen’s mom reached out to me to see if I could help facilitate their orders faster to Germany so they could both go together.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with how the military works, let’s just say it can be a LITTLE challenging. I got to work and started reaching out to everyone I knew. We all made calls and messaged everyone that could help expedite the process. Our main goal was to get them together no later than Christmas so they could spend their first one together.

I’m not going to lie, I really thought we could make this happen, but it looks like it is going to fall short. The ugly truth about Christmas is that not everyone gets a miracle, but we still believe that something wonderful and magical can and will happen. These two represent so many military families this holiday season spending the holiday without someone truly special in their lives.

Please say a special prayer for Lauren and Stephen this Christmas and know that soon (not soon enough) they will be in each others arms, smiling at each other with puppy dog eyes, and celebrating their new marriage…together. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and to all a good night.

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


  1. Well said Tom. I love the suit. You’ve made lots of folks happy. Merry Christmas.

    • Thank you Kevin! I want to thank you for all your blog posts. They have motivated me to keep moving forward and stepping outside my comfort zone. Merry Christmas!

  2. Great artical Tom! I also love the suit and hope to see you in it to get a picture! Merry Christmas man. Still my favorite customer!

  3. Thank you for this. It’s a good reminder/motivation for me to enjoy the next few days and stress a little less 🙂

  4. Merry Christmas, man. You tried. Nobody was let down. Burn the suit.

  5. Ah the joys of the military life and gov’t induced separations. It’s important to learn to look at them as a chance to say hello time and time again, and not focus too much on the goodbyes or the time apart. I hope by now that these two are enjoying Germany together. May they have a blessed 2015.

    • I agree! The focus should be on reuniting and not leaving. For young couples (I know you remember this) it is so hard. The focus is about feelings and emotions. I too hope they have a great military marriage. You and your hubby are proof that it works.

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