Even as a kid, I never truly got into the clichéd “Spirit of Christmas.”

Christmas to me meant stringing cheesy-colored lights in cold weather, absorbing numerous pricks from the pine needles on our tree, enduring overlong visits from relatives I had little or no desire to see, eating too much of my mother’s suspect cooking and later on, as I entered my wage-earning years, shelling out not an insignificant amount for gifts.

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