Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Christmas Day 2009. Aspen, Colorado.

If you are reading this you are here. What greater gift could you ask for?

For those of us who live in the Roaring Fork Valley, waking up on any given day here is a blessing. Three-hundred and sixty-five days a year we are cocooned by the mountains, protected from the outside world, surrounded by immense beauty. It is as if we have been granted some sort of special status that has allowed us to experience heaven during our mortal days while others must wait for their final judgment.

For those of you who are visiting, awakening on Christmas morning here means that you get to vacation in a place where the snow is white, the skies will be blue and the pace of the day is dictated by the holiday.

OK, so it may be a bit chilly early, but the spirit of the season will warm us all by mid-day.

No doubt you’ve spent much of the morning opening gifts. New clothes, new skis, new, well, whatever. But the real joy of the Christmas celebration comes not from the new things, but from the new experiences we have. Your best Christmas memories will inevitably come from being with family around a tree opening presents or perhaps at the dinner table on Christmas Eve.

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And it is tough to top those memories that you’ll form on the slopes as you head out today to ski Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Highlands or Buttermilk. Skiing is the perfect sport for families. There is the uninterrupted conversations on the gondola or the lifts. There is the camaraderie that is formed by challenging the elements and the steeps together. And there is the sheer joy that comes from being high above the world on a mountaintop. Sorry, but golf just doesn’t give you all that.

As you move through your Christmas Day take a moment or two to reflect on your good fortune. There are folks throughout the world who would love to live or visit this lovely little valley. You on the other hand are lucky enough to actually be here on Christmas Day.

That may be the greatest gift you could have.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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