editor’s column: I’m changing my attitude for the holidays

The Christmas season arrived early at our house this year.

By Anthony Welch

Just before I sat down to write this column I was standing on a 16-foot ladder stringing up icicle lights for my wife. It was just past 9 a.m. and already 60-plus degrees. If only we could have a glorious, sunny and warm Christmas day, I thought to myself.

I think we’ll be the first house on our block with Christmas lights up. In light of COVID and the “new strangeness” of the world, my wife decided to go overboard with Christmas decorations to brighten everyone’s spirit. There’s an entire bedroom completely full of Christmas stuff.

Her enthusiasm is contagious. She and our son, Jaxson, love Christmas. The kid in me still enjoys Christmas, but cold days crawling around the corner stresses me out a little. I’m a warm weather person. I thrive in the summer.

Christmas, to me, means the arrival of winter—and seasonal depression. Plus, there’s the stress over purchasing gifts.
As I stood on that ladder—actually sweating in mid-November—and thinking I was about to put up a “Clark Griswold-like” light display, I had pleasant thoughts about Christmas. I decided I’m changing my attitude this year. At least, I’m going to try.

I remember how, with four children, even when times were a little tough, our mom and dad always made sure we had a great Christmas. We had our small family traditions of driving into downtown Denver to see the Christmas lights. Then we’d watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Later, the movie tradition shifted to “A Christmas Story” when it came out.
I’d make sure my younger siblings put out cookies and milk for Santa, and then we’d all sleep in the same room. Often we’d stay up late talking and laughing, suffering from that Christmas Eve excitement/insomnia.

On Christmas morning, after my brother Nick woke us up at 6 a.m. or earlier, we came out to find unwrapped gifts (from Santa) and wrapped presents from our parents.

We all have our own families now, but we still meet up on Christmas day and enjoy laughs like we’re kids again. And now we get to see the joy in our children’s (and grandchildren’s) faces.

Thank you, Mom and Dad for always giving us a great Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas
The best way to ensure that you receive your Life After 50 every month is to subscribe. Normally, it’s $20 for one year or $30 for two, but in the spirit of the holiday season, you can gift Life After 50 to a friend for free when you purchase a subscription for yourself. Send in your subscription form on page 30.

We want your photos
Submit to us your photos to be featured in Life After 50! Do you have pictures from your outdoor adventures during our warm November days? Or, photos of friends and family from your holiday gatherings? Please send a high-resolution photo, along with names and other pertinent information, to Anthony@LAFifty.com

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