THE MOST WONDERFUL WINTER TRADITION WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR
ample decorating at home, we try to do something different when it comes to decorating. We dig out the arts and crafts supplies and make ornaments by hand, then string them up on the little tree and have a laugh, even though deep down I think we’re all proud of the spectacle we’ve created. Then my brothers, my dad, and I gather in the backyard to polish up our snow skis and get ready for the slopes. I’ll admit that after four knee surgeries, I’m not as proficient a skier as I once was, but the allure of the mountain still calls me back every year. We’re hoping for plenty of snow this season, but no matter which way it tips — way too much, or not nearly enough — we always manage to have a good time. We’ll have some friendly competition racing down the slopes before we all pile into the lodge to defrost over lunch. Our group usually consists of my family, my two brothers’ families, and my dad. But this year we’re smaller, with one of my brothers and his family unable to make it down, and my daughter on the East Coast where she’s still in medical school. Even though we’ll be missing some key players, I know our time together won’t lack festive spirit. We’ll still have all the old stories to tell, and
Here we are, already winding down on yet another year! Time really does seem to fly by, and even though I wish it would slow down just a bit, I’ll also admit I get excited about the end of the year. That’s because my family is that much closer to one of our favorite seasonal traditions. For years, the Smith family’s winter tradition has been to meet up at the same cabin in Lake Tahoe at the end of the year. It’s exactly what you’re probably picturing when you think of a cozy cabin in the mountains: a view of the lake through frosted windows, dark wood paneled walls, funky decor with cross-stitching, Native American art, and dusty sports pendants earned years ago by the people we rent the cabin from. It’s where some of my family’s most cherished memories have been made over the years, and I can’t wait to gather there again. One of the first things we do when we arrive is hunt down the best Charlie Brown Christmas tree we can find. You know, that one sad yet spirited tree that begs to be decorated but has no business being decorated. That’s the one we want. Because we’re usually in Tahoe after Christmas and each of our families has already done
we'll undoubtedly be making new ones to share next year.
At ROC, we’re gearing up for our annual Christmas party, where we highlight staff members and their contributions and spend time really appreciating all the patients that have come through our doors. We’re so honored to be able to help hundreds of people each year manage their pain so they can get back to living their lives to the fullest. It’s a truly inspiring and humbling position we find ourselves in every day. In times like these, I relish in all the wonderful things in my life I have to be thankful for, and I’m eager to continue passing that good will on. We all wish you and your loved ones an absolutely wonderful holiday, and a happy and healthy new year.
– Matt Smith
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