It’s Christmas Eve in Lake Tahoe, and, as an avid ski bum, I’ve gotten one of my big Christmas wishes. On Friday evening it began snowing, and, when I say snowing, I mean snowing. Depending on your elevation and placement in the Tahoe Basin, as much as 60 inches of snow dropped between Friday night and Monday morning.
With the storm poised to hit on Friday, our family made a run down the mountain to Carson City for a big shopping run. My wife and I had a few gifts we wanted to pick up for the kids, but primarily we were focused on food and drink.
Back home that night, the kids in bed asleep, a hot fire burning in our wood burning stove, Monica and I cuddled up on the couch and began assessing our readiness for Christmas morning.
I think that night was the first time we openly talked about the conclusion we’d both separately reached. We weren’t getting each other anything for Christmas.
We already had everything we wanted.
It’s hard to write about such a decision without it sounding like a “statement”, though it is a decision I wanted to share a bit about this Christmas.
Monica and I are very intentional about our money. We’re intentional because in order to get the money we have, we’ve had to trade a part of our lives to get it. So when I say that we’re intentional about our money, what I’m really saying is that we’re intentional about our lives.
Please don’t interpret this as humbug.
There were some things we wanted for Christmas, and we got them.
We chose the experience of Christmas.
We chose a young turkey for Christmas Eve and a fine cut of beef for Christmas Day.
We chose fresh breads and tasty cheeses and gourmet coffee.
We chose a few bottles of champagne to enjoy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I chose a new razor for a good Christmas shave and a fine cigar to close out Christmas Day.
For Christmas we got ourselves a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe. Futzing around in the kitchen, sledding down the driveway with the kids, playing in the snow, relaxing by the fire.
Over the years my wife and I have spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts for each other and I don’t regret a single dollar spent. There’s a distinct beauty though in the intentionality we’re enjoying this Christmas.
What we are enjoying is no simple thing. We have less financial margin than most of our neighbors in Lake Tahoe, but much more financial margin than a great many people in the world. Turkey and beef and fresh bread and tasty cheese. Coffee and champagne and cigars.
These are luxuries most of the world does not enjoy.
Even many of those who experience these luxuries do not fully enjoy them.
Enjoying these luxuries makes us among the richest people in the world.
In college I had an economics professor who claimed he was the richest man in the world. His wealth was based on his ability to accumulate what he valued most in life.
This Christmas, I am the richest man in the world.
If you’re new to Family Trek, let’s get connected. We’re on a quest to work less, live more, and travel the world as a family. We’re trying to live deliberately, examining every aspect of life to ensure that our life actually matches up with the things we say we value most. You can like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!