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First, let me say I’m not a Grinch. I have done Christmas above and beyond for nearly a quarter of a century for my children. I have hosted Christmas cookie exchanges, decorated trees fit for a Fifth Avenue shop window, dressed the dog in holiday attire, baked cookies for Santa, and wrestled holiday lights into the bushes. There’s not much Christmas I haven’t done.

Just not this year.

My children are older now and celebrate the holidays in their own homes (in other states.) Yes, it was magical when my kids would stumble down the stairs on Christmas morning and I’d watch their amazed little faces glow as they discovered the gifts under the lit tree. I have beautiful memories of those moments and I will cherish them forever.

However, this year I hung brand new stockings on the mantel – without embroidered names – and erected a 4-foot tree instead of a towering one. I’ll spend Christmas in my sister’s home as a guest rather than a host. I feel a different kind of anticipation: Spending Christmas with the person I shared a room with when we were small, the sibling who raised her family in another part of the country (and abroad) while I was busy raising mine. That’s the calmer, peaceful holiday that I’m cherishing this year.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, too.

Renee Garrison is the award-winning authoof two Young Adult books, The Anchor Clankers,” and “Anchored Together.” She is Past President of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.