I don’t know if it’s the twinkly lights or the sound of Bing Crosby’s voice, but it’s impossible for me – and many of you, I’m sure – to get through this month without thinking of holiday seasons gone by. Maybe it’s something Hollywood films have programmed us to do – like George Bailey looking back on his life and seeing things for how they really happened. Or maybe it’s because our bodies instinctively know there’s something special about this time of year.

Many of my memories of Christmas are tied to decorations. I should be honest and tell you that I dread decorating. It’s not because I’m a humbug. I just don’t like frills. Our house doesn’t contain a lot of knick-knacks or tchotchkes, and Christmas decorating always feels like knick-knacks gone wild. Besides, it’s an awful lot of work for just a few weeks of frills.

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