All I Want For Christmas

by Alan Rider

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hard person to buy gifts for (I can just see my wife rolling her eyes when she reads this).  You see, I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t really want or need that much stuff.

Over the last decade or so I’ve come to understand what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said:

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

Oh sure, I get caught up in lusting for “the next big thing” same as everybody.  But when that happens, I try to step back and take a hard look at whether I really need this latest gizmo.  And usually I discover I can live quite well without it.

What I can’t do without, however, are opportunities to take full advantage of the second chance I’ve been given, to live my life to the fullest.  Whether that means wrassling with my son on the living room rug (I consider fatherhood to be an adventure unto itself) or jumping out of an airplane.  In other words, I try hard to remember what’s really important.

So, you see, what I really want for Christmas is not more stuff, but more remarkable once-in-a-lifetime adventures.  Though they’re pretty darn difficult to put a bow on, they are the one thing in the world that I’ve found has any real lasting meaning for me.

Which brings me to my gift to all of you.  I plan on spending the next 12 months digging up more truly extraordinary experiences and sharing them with you here and on the pages of XTRORD.com.  And though I know not all of them will appeal to everyone, it’s my sincere hope that you’ll find at least a few that will make you say “Man, I’ve always wanted to do that!” and inspire you to live out some long-held dream.

And that, my friends, might just be the greatest gift I could ever get.


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