Garry F. Liday Corporation December 2018

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Garry F. Liday Corporation FINANCIAL COACH

RETIREMENT ASSET MANAGERS, INC. A Registered Investment Advisory Firm (RIA)

MORE THAN PRESENTS OR PARTIES, The Holidays Are About Memories

When I think back to the holidays of my childhood, it’s hard for me to recall exactly what gifts I received. I’m sure at the time, presents were my chief concern, but that’s fallen away as I’ve grown older. Don’t get me wrong, I still look back on those memories with overwhelming fondness, but the focus is different than when I was in the moment. Now, I cherish the experiences of those holidays and the emotions they evoke in me. As I’ve mentioned before, both of my parents grew up during the Great Depression and lived through World War II. Events that seismic can’t help but affect the way you view the world, and my parents were no different. They were stern, no-nonsense folks who valued hard work and keeping your head down. Nevertheless, they did the best with what they had and made every effort to make the holidays special for us. Looking back on it, they went above and beyond what anyone could’ve expected. Our Christmas Eves were always spent at our grandparents’ house with our extended family. In addition to all of the cousins, aunts, and uncles, there was a guest of honor: Santa Claus. Well, it wasn’t really Santa, just a neighbor dressed in full red and white regalia. You couldn’t have told us kids that, though. We spent large portions of those afternoons wondering how Santa could spend so much time with us only to have to travel the entire world after our party was done. We were also allowed to open one present per year on Christmas Eve. Allowing us one gift at the party was a clever tactic, because it temporarily sated our hunger for presents. We would present each other with a gift. But

even that wasn’t enough to quell my sense of anticipation. By the time we were home, I was anxious for Christmas morning. I used every ounce of energy I had to stay up and catch Santa making his rounds. It never worked. At some point during the night, my eyes would close. When I opened them, the gifts were waiting under the tree, the cookies were gone, and I’d have to wait another year to catch the big guy in action. Our gifts always took the form of one larger present and a bunch of small doodads. Some years, like the one when I received a bike, the main gift got all the attention. In others, we had just as much fun with the trinkets as we did with the big-ticket items. Whatever item was most prized, the experience of Christmas was always a magical one. We would even receive a visit from my mom’s father on Christmas Day, which was usually the only time of year we’d see him. He was something of a recluse, and I’d be lying if I said we were super close, but his visits were always cause for excitement. They were, after all, another sign that the holidays were a special and unique time of year. That bike I was so excited about is doubtless gathering rust somewhere, and I’ve long outgrown the sweaters I received over the course of my youth. But the memories, the sense that my parents really cared about making Christmas incredible for us, will be with me forever. When you look back on your childhood, I hope you can say the same. And I hope you’ve passed on the tradition of making the holidays the most wonderful time of the year for the little ones in your life. – Garry Li day

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