STARS & STRIPES
HEARTLAND INVESTMENT COMPANIES
AND WHY I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY MY FAMILY’S ‘BORING’ CHRISTMAS When people ask why I’m so passionate about Iowa real estate, I like to give them a simple answer: Boring is best. People use the word “boring” as an insult, but, to me, it means something different when it comes to investing. When I say Iowa real estate is boring, I’m saying it’s safe, conservative, and smart. It’s a wise move in a turbulent world. I feel the same way about my family’s Christmas celebrations. When friends and neighbors ask what we’re doing for the holidays I always joke that our plans are “boring,” but really, I love our intimate, low-key Christmas traditions. For the last 30 years, my wife, our kids, and I have celebrated Christmas in the same predictable way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Our ritual starts a few weeks before Christmas when Gina and I head to a local tree lot to pick out a real Christmas tree. We bring the tree home to decorate it, and the whole house smells like pine. A few days in advance, we start getting things ready for the Christmas meal. It’s the biggest event of the holiday for us, and a lot of preparation is involved. We bake a ham and a turkey and make sides like baked beans and fresh bread. Then, on Christmas Eve, the kids arrive, and we all head to church for the Christmas Eve service. Sometimes they bring a boyfriend or girlfriend into the mix, but other than that, reuniting is the same as always. The next morning, our house feels abuzz with excitement and cheer as we put the last of the food in the oven and all gather around the tree to open presents. The biggest difference between now and when the kids were tiny is that Gina and I don’t have to be up into the early morning hours sneaking presents from “Santa” under the tree and putting together toys after they’ve gone to bed! When it’s time to eat, Gina brings out the good china, and we set everyone places in the formal dining room. It’s one of the few times of the year when we don’t eat in the kitchen, and that alone makes it feel like a real occasion! In my book, the best feeling in the world is sitting down to a lavish, home-cooked meal surrounded by the people I love most on Christmas.
“IN MY BOOK, THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD IS SITTING DOWN TO A LAVISH, HOME- COOKED MEAL SURROUNDED BY THE PEOPLE I LOVE MOST ON CHRISTMAS.”
So, why would I risk losing that peaceful, happy Christmas by
choosing to travel or host a big party instead? I wouldn’t, for the same reason I wouldn’t invest in real estate in a volatile market: There’s too much risk and not enough guaranteed return. Of course, there’s no “wrong” way to celebrate Christmas — but I have to say, I really, really love the Iowa way. No matter what your holiday plans are, I hope you enjoy every minute. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! –Darin Garman
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.TheNewsletterPro.comdaringarman.com
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