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Reclaiming Christmas for My Kids

By Kathy Kiger

My kids and I have spent decades adhering to the Christmas traditions I grew up with. My family has always done everything exactly the same. Every. Single. Year. 

Christmas Eve was always spent at my parents’ house. All four of my kids would sleep in the same tiny room — two of them on the floor. The adults would stay up well past midnight getting everything ready. Then we’d all get up at 6:30 am and begin our Christmas morning by reading the Christmas story out of the Bible.

My mom did her best to make everything magical. There were lots of decorations and candles and homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

But when it was time to open gifts, it felt like being in a fish bowl. Everyone watched everyone else. My brother and his wife always had plenty of money to buy their kids loads of expensive gifts — every movie, game, and electronic device they could possibly want. 

But after my divorce in 2010, money was always tight. So my...

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