Much to my family’s consternation, I’ve never been a big fan of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. To me, they’re exorbitantly expensive and stressed-filled propositions. I refuse to help decorate the tree and the lone reason I hang the Christmas lights, is I’m the only one in my family not afflicted with acrophobia once I pass the second step of a ladder.

I’ve often watched my spouse fall just short of a nervous breakdown because she has no idea what to serve the 20 or so people planning to descend upon our house for Christmas dinner. Or remain up until 2 a.m. wrapping gifts. But ever the eternal optimist, she continually reminds me that this is the season to be jolly.

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