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In the end, Christmas only has one meaning for me. But it took awhile to get to this point.
As a child growing up in a working class family in the cold northlands of Michigan, Christmas was about an inability to sleep on Christmas Eve, too eagerly bucking in the starting gate for the morning to arrive when I would tear into wrapping paper with the ravaging power of a starving wolf. Playing with new matchbox cars on a loop track or Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots or a Detroit Lions toy helmet in the small front room while still in jammies, I just wished this could come more than once per year.
Adult - Side - Christmas - Spending - Fever
As an adult, I saw another side of Christmas, the rampant spending and acquiring that reaches a fever pitch in the weeks ahead of December 25, of people violently attacking others on Black Friday to save a few bucks on a good deal (FYI, criminal assault is a far worse crime than shoplifting.) It all looked so unseemly and wrong. I tried to see the generosity that some people displayed, but that was mostly by people who were generous by nature throughout the year.
Also as an adult, I was seeing Christmas through a new lens. I became a Christian — a Bible-believing, born-again, Jesus-following Christian, one of those “Jesus Freaks” you might say — as a young man at Michigan State University. That transformed Christmas in my eyes to the point that when our children were young, my wife and I minimized the traditional, culture Christmas fanfare for a more to-the-point celebration....
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