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  1. The nicest thing about "the holidays" is the end of them. i dread them (starting with Halloween), cringe at most of the stuff, and then I am relieved when I have survived New Year's Eve, horns and all. The maudlin emotions in endless print ads, hundreds of hard sell emails, tv specials, some overdone decorating, non stop carols, and the exclusion of those who are not in a good space emotionally is rather terrible for me. And there is terrific financial pressure on many who cannot afford to be generous. I am in a good situation these days but I know many who are not... and I was once one of them. To all of you who are just surviving, just barely, and celebrating no snow as it means less fuel oil and shoveling and salt purchases... I was there. My greatest joy is to be able to be generous to those who really need it and to make someone's day and create a little space of lack of financial fear and anxiety. I still find a heavy snow quite magic and the smell of a fireplace inviting, but what was once quite unique and looked forward to seems to have changed for me dramatically. I wish I could recapture some of it, or perhaps just its illusion... I still love decorating a tree now and then and having people over for a special dinner but the drama of dashed expectations has taken its toll...and more and more I hear the same from others. Am I the only Scrooge on here or are there others who are thankful for what they have but wish that it was not so institutionalized? I do apologize to any who are offended by this but I wonder how many others here share some of these feelings...anyone with small children who still believe in magic are exempted from this discussion!
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