10 Reasons I Hate Christmas. Love, The Grinch.

Via Saraswati J.
on Dec 23, 2009
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by Sarah Miller

Picture 3*Warning*: If you are offended easily, don’t read this….

One doesn’t have to look far to see the atrocious side-effects of the Christmas season on the environment and on the psyche.

As a non-Christian and non- religious (but extremely spiritual) Being, I take offense to much of these customs that are seemingly forced upon us during this time of year.

Oh I can hear the backlash of comments to come!! I’m speaking blasphemy. Blah Blah…But here are my top ten reasons that I choose to be Grinchy at this time of year.

1) It all starts waaay too early: Shortly after they get done with Halloween, the Christmas crap starts showing up in stores- well over two months before the event. The DAY after Thanksgiving (don’t get me started!) people are out putting up the tacky “yard ornaments.” December technically starts on November 25th in America.

2) The yard stuff is tacky: I don’t mind making the long, cold winter months a bit more cheery with some lights and nog. Whatever. But when your lights/Santa/ candy canes/Mickey Mouse etc., are life size, they infringe on my personal space and vision. Furthermore, when your yard looks like Las Vegas, you’ve gone too far. When you don’t know how to artfully arrange items, or determine what is clearly distasteful, or what has nothing to do with Christmas in the first place, you have no business putting anything in your front yard. Period. (Example: dalmatians, lollipops, Mickey Mouse, blow up Santas, deer etc.)

3) Lights, electricity, fossil fuels: Have we thought about the environmental implications of the excessive use of electricity for all these lights, blow up machines and spotlights?! How many watts are being used when a yard is so bright it competes with the full moon itself? Then, on top of this, people DRIVE around in their cars to look at the Christmas lights. Talk about over-consumption and a waste of fossil fuel.

4) The “Christmas tree”: I don’t even have to say it, it’s so obvious. A living tree has been killed. For what? For less than thirty days of enjoyment. For putting gifts under (I’ll get to that in a second). To say that you “did a tree this year.” To hang chintzy ornaments on. It’s disgusting. Kill nature. Then decorate it. Then throw it away. Oh so American! I am obviously not pro-killing trees for decoration. Tree farms? Still a bad idea. Then there are the fake trees. Made of plastic and entirely non-biodegradable. Need I say more?

There’s also the reality that the “Christmas tree” is associated historically with paganism and several other traditions but gained popularity in the U.S. and UK during Queen Victoria’s reign mid 18th century. As it turns out, it is a fairly new holiday association.

5) Gifts?: What kind of gifts are these anyway? Gifts you need? Or gifts you want? Gifts your kids are whining about? Basically it’s more crap. It’s a holiday designed for retailers and makes people feel the need to buy, buy, buy. Long after the holidays are over, your finances have gone to sh*t. You are giving gifts just to give gifts because that’s what people do at Christmas; give gifts. Who needs gifts? Who needs anything? Right. No one.

6) Put the Christ back in Christmas: Let’s first point out that Christ wasn’t a Christian- he was Jew. Secondly, I’m all for celebrating Christs’ day of birth except for one small thing: he wasn’t actually born in December. In fact, he was born sometime closer to spring. The Christians actually disguised their celebrations under the auspices of Solstice (a considerably “Pagan” holiday by some standards) in order to avoid persecution.

Perhaps this holiday should be restored to its more truthful origins? Or is this the epitome of what the holiday itself has become?

7) Separation of church and state: So according to our government, we all must be Christians who celebrate such things as Christmas. Otherwise all government offices wouldn’t be closed and all working folks wouldn’t get days off from their employers- by law. I could have sworn that our Constitution states a separation of church and state? Hmmm. So let me get this straight, a country built on the very backs of immigration, that boasts its very founding on freedom of religion and the ending of an oppressive regime, is now telling me what holiday to celebrate and my government sees no conflict with this- even though the Constitution clearly states otherwise? Wow, we are so hoodwinked! Clearly, I’m not getting days off from work for Diwali or Ramadan. No. Only Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas…….

8) Santa Claus: We all know there was a St. Nick who lived once. Around the world there are depictions of a jovial Being and his generosity. I love it. I really do. There are pagan ties (Odin to the Germans) that have made Santa taboo for certain Christian celebrations. I like the guy. But……my point is, he doesn’t actually belong with Christmas at all. Call me a Puritan, but he’s not Christmas. And besides, you’re lyin’ to the kids and that ain’t cool.

9) “Merry Christmas!”: How many times do I have to hear “Merry Christmas!” in my lifetime? How many times will I have to respond with “happy holidays” before people realize that not everyone is celebrating their holiday with them? Isn’t it a bit egotistical to assume that everyone else is ALSO celebrating Christmas? I find it super rude. Especially for those who are celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa at this time of year. And funny no one wishes me a happy Raam Navami…..

To put it into perspective, American Muslims don’t go around wishing EVERYONE “happy Ramadan” every year. Why? Because they know that not everyone in America is celebrating Ramadan with them. So why do Christians, or those celebrating Christmas, assume that everyone else is playing along with them? Weird.

10) Bottomline: I think this Christmas thing is WAY out of control. If you want to celebrate your holiday, go for it! I support you in that effort and honor your desire for celebration in the name of your personal beliefs. But please, please, don’t turn this into an everyone holiday. And to those who are just giving stupid gifts and cutting trees and putting up horrid light displays with Mickey and lollipops and dalmatians, you need to find some meaning in it all. You’re celebrating Christ after all. Aren’t you?

With love,

The Grinch.


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About Saraswati J.

Saraswati J. is a Jyotish Coach and Consultant, bridging ancient Jyotish wisdom with Embodiment and Expressive Art Therapy resources. Her Jyotish work is especially well suited to the extra sensitive artists, mystics and healers—and those who need insights for their dharmic path and personal transformation process. Check out her website and find her on Facebook. You can join her newsletter for special astrological insights or register for her weekly Jyotish Basics classes for an extra dose of healing wisdom. Additionally, she creates unique adornments with the urban goddess in mind. Check out her jewelry at Swati Jr* Jewelry and also on Facebook.

Comments

141 Responses to “10 Reasons I Hate Christmas. Love, The Grinch.”

  1. rachel says:

    I'm Jewish on my mom's said, lapsed Quaker on my Dad's. We don't go crazy at Christmas by any means, and I always wish Happy Holidays since I'm pretty aware of not being Christian (Hannukah is actually a minor holiday promoted to compare with Christmas), but I do like Christmas. I believe in seperation of church and state, but given that there's the time off, my family always gets together, and it's nice. Would we come home this time of year otherwise, hard to know, but I like seeing my family. The put the christ back in christmas shit annoys me, and this year I've been wrapping boxes with recylable brown paper and yarn we have leftover from my mom's knitting projects, but I really wanted to say that it's possible to give gifts without being too commercial. I try really hard to give gift's people need and will use- books I know they want to read, cooking supplies they lust after, yoga classes, cooking classes, etc. I think giving gifts can be a really awesome way to show someone you thought about them by buying something they will use.

  2. YesuDas says:

    I, for one, am quite sure Crabby Holidays is joking, Kira. Even in the snarkfest that Elephant can be sometimes, that's WAY over the top!

  3. karen skvarek says:

    Sarah, great column and thanks to EJ for the repost. I agree with all your points and have felt the same for years. Also want to thank BoulderBabe and Rachel for their hilarious replies about the solder needing a stat metal worker for repair!

  4. YesuDas says:

    Oh, the humanity! While I deplore all the vitriol in the comments, Sarah, I do wish to suggest that snark begets snark; content aside, the tone of your piece does seem to invite raised hackles. But I appreciate the thought you've put into this, and would like to add a few of my own:

    1) I couldn't agree more that the whole thing starts way too early. Advent was traditionally a milder form of Lent–a time of reflection and spiritual preparation, followed by *twelve days* of "Christmas holidays," beginning with the Nativity, then St. Stephen's Day., Holy Innocent's Day, and on to Epiphany/Twelfth Night. I'd love nothing better than to spend Advent in more diligent prayer, followed by a twelve-day Christmastide. But the mercantile crosshairs trained on December 25 have made most of us forget that the Nativity is the *first,* not the *last,* day of Christmas. Drives me crazy, but I do what I can; if I don't get a card into the mail until 12/28, I boldly date it "Fourth Day of Christmas." So there.

    2) "When you don’t know how to artfully arrange items, or determine what is clearly distasteful, or what has nothing to do with Christmas in the first place, you have no business putting anything in your front yard. Period."

    OK, that's just plain snotty and elitist. You make the whole world sound like a gated community.

    4) Victoria reigned in the 19th, not the 18th century.

    6) "Let’s first point out that Christ wasn’t a Christian- he was Jew." Um…yes; OK–and the Buddha wasn't a Buddhist–he was a Hindu with an anti-Brahminical streak. Not sure I see your point, here.

    About the December thing, again, I agree; I heard my 6-year-old explain to someone today that Jesus was born in spring, because that's when the shepherds were out in the fields, because it was lambing time. But again, your point? Is this one of the reasons you hate Christmas, and are you seriously saying you'd hate it less if it were in March? And if so, why? Again, not following you here.

    10) I am with you 100% that people who celebrate Christmas per se need to determine what they are doing and why; no place for fuzzy thinking on this. Re. your aesthetic judgment(alism) see #2 above.

    Please wish me a Happy Diwali; I would like that.

  5. taylor gibbons says:

    "Let’s first point out that Christ wasn’t a Christian- he was Jew." This is like saying Muhammad wasn't a muslim, but is an even more annoying example of the act. Christ was a Christian, he invented the religion, he denied Judaic examples to establish it's tenants. You can't begin your life as something you are said to have later consciously established unless you are as an infant at the moment of your birth coherent enough to establish said thing which so far no one has been. This is like saying Bell didn't invent the telephone because he wasn't born as the inventor of it. This is the most aggravating comment on Christianity that exists. Speaking reasonably no one should even bother to make it.

  6. taylor gibbons says:

    *muslim=Muslim, I should have capitalized that term to show it the same regard as other religions mentioned in the post.

  7. YesuDas says:

    Sorry, Taylor–that won't hold up. Muhammad did consciously set out to found Islam–or at any rate, he responded to what he believed was a divine calling to do so. Jesus said, "I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it." He was a Jew. His early followers were Jews. And most of what we now call "Christianity" was "invented" not by Jesus, but by Paul. Jesus only gave one original commandment: "Love one another, as I have loved you." What exactly are you claiming He "invented"?

    The earliest followers of Jesus called themselves "Followers of the Way"; not until Paul's time, in Alexandria, did the term "Christian" even exist. At any rate, isn't it nonsensical to describe Jesus as a "follower" of himself?

  8. alpinelily says:

    I'm just curious, do you attend Halloween parties, New Years celebrations, birthday parties or weddings? All of those events also use an increased amount of fossil fueld, decorations and gifts.

  9. Monique says:

    Hahaaaa! You are on the wrong site, sweetheart. You also may be mildly autistic. I might have that checked out by a medical professional, if I were you. Also, the word is liberal. Li-ber-al. Merry Christmas!

  10. NotSoSure says:

    Two more words: hard liquor

  11. Rebecca says:

    I can appreciate the author's disdain for the commercialization of a holiday in which she does not participate. However, this post lacks novel thought and ideas. These points have been made over and over again, year in and year out. We all know Jesus was born in March and there was no such thing as a Christian when that event occurred. Religions, like families and governments, evolve and grow. They add traditions and refine beliefs. It's really quite simple. If you don't want to be part of that process, then don't participate. Don't buy the gaudy Santa; don't put up a tree, and by all means, don't allow yourself to look past the commercialism and religious overtones to find the universal ideas of love, joy and peace. Happy Saturnalia, everyone!

  12. soulrole says:

    @Dave-wow!better go off and do some yoga buddy!
    I appreciate this post…America is supposed to be about freedom..of religion among others!It really bother me to go to the children's public school CHRISTMAS show…in Hawaii.I love to give gifts and share warm happy times with family and friends but I do not LOVE the pressure that is put on people,esp. with children to buy more more more!whatever happened to people spending there cold winter evenings sitting around making gifts to give?

  13. candicegarrett says:

    Christ did not set out to invent a religion. He did not, in fact, invent anything. That was done later, by the apostles and by his followers.

  14. candicegarrett says:

    our country was founded by "liberals" who wanted to practice religious and political freedom from "conservative" England. Your comment disrespects what we are founded upon. People are "free" to disagree without being forced to leave (that's the nature of our first amendment and democracy) so you're contradicting yourself there.

  15. […] are a lot of Grinches that appear around this time of year. You know who they are, the people who scowl at the neighbor […]

  16. swati jr* says:

    this post is quickly becoming an elephantjournal.com tradition! love you elephant. glad to see this post is still creating thoughtful insights and a bit o' wintery pot stirring!! 😉

  17. Santa says:

    I disagree with some of your opinions. Thank you for the article. Merry Christmas!

  18. […] year however, we are experiencing three amazing events all at once: Solstice (the darkest day of the year and the first day of winter), a full moon (in Gemini) as well as an […]

  19. YesuDas says:

    Well put, Candice; my 6 y/o told us that she loves the songs at Christmas time because "they're about the world being new." Until you've watched them decorate the tree, and decorated cookies with them for the parish carol sing, you may be missing a big piece of the equation.

  20. Witchdoctor58 says:

    I'm using this article as the entry for the "Deck the Door" contest sponsored by my goverment employer. I just suffered through the forced celebration of Christmas office party, when services were shut to the public. They are fully open for business on non-Christian holy days, though.

  21. candicegarrett says:

    yes! My 6 year old son has been singing Christmas songs night and day for about a week now! His enthusiasm is very sweet.

  22. Way to get people talking and thinking about this.
    This year – no Christmas Tree;
    Thoughtful, minimal, meaningful gifts.
    Time with family and friends – this is a reason to leave the holiday alone….. our country will not change it to the true birth day of Christ – so, we celebrate it 12/25 …. ok by me… let's just be mindful about how we spend it, how we use our purchasing power and be there for those who need help and guidance during a time that can be super stressful for many folks.
    Peace!

  23. Varvara says:

    A ha ha.Well I can't help but agree with Sarah…
    A friend was playing this today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhwQw5kgDq0
    I think he too had enough of Christmas…

  24. Joe Sparks says:

    The entire population of most societies has been conditioned to treat any expression of religion with unthinking respect. People must examine their own religion for themselves and reach a decision on each part of their religion as to whether that part is rational and human or whether it is irrational. Each group must sort out its own religion, enhancing and cherishing the human (rational) parts and offering them to the world to share. Each group needs to awarely organize to eliminate the irrational portions of the religion.

  25. swati jr* says:

    to whom it may concern: this grinch has learned many lessons since this original posting. one thing is certain (as certain as the blow-up santa clause across the street) this is a joyful season. i sure wish we could do this everyday of the year (really!) which is what many of us strive to do with our spiritual practices. my hope is that each one of us can remember this joy- the joy of giving/receiving, connecting with family and community, gratitude etc. in every moment of every day throughout the year. at the least, for most, it is happening but once a year for at least a moment or a day or so…..and for that, i am truly grateful. om shanti*

  26. Amy Fowlkes says:

    Dear Grinch,

    Here are 10 reasons to celebrate Christmas, whether you are Christian or religious, or not.

    1.Christmas is a time to reunite with family. Time off from school and work, which makes getting together as families easier. Past grievances, drama or conflicts can be put aside to celebrate a nice meal together and celebrate both friends and family.
    2.The yard stuff is cool to kids! Especially ages 4 and 6, like my kids. For the last 4 weeks, they’ve asked to walk before bedtime, so they can look at the neighborhood lights. The celebration of lights came from the winter solstice, as a celebration of the returning sun. There is a park in Iowa that puts up all kinds of lights and decorations. Cars drive through and pay a small fee that goes to charity. In the cold winter months, pretty lights and fun decorations and bring joy to many.
    3.Christmas trees and other greenery are brought inside during the month of December (or winter), as an invitation to invite nature inside, and to remind us that life goes on, even in the coldest and darkest time of the year. The trees are beautiful, they smell wonderful and create a very festive atmosphere. Much like cutting a flower, cutting an evergreen tree does not “kill” the tree. They grow back if you cut them correctly. At $50 a tree, it seems good for the economy.
    4.Teaching the gift of giving is celebrated in various different religions and holidays. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the look on my child’s face, a friend or family member, when they receive something they enjoy. The best gift I received this year was a photo album with our family history that clearly took a long time to put together.
    5.It is also a time to teach giving. Charities receive more money during the month of December than any other time of year. Giving gifts to schools, buying “wish list” items for the aftercare program at our school, and helping others is an invaluable gift.
    6.Santa is fun! So is the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, St. Patrick’s Day Lepracon. He is meant to be a symbol, of the spirit of giving. Santa really became a symbol after the writing of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and many of the traditions came from a simple story, combined with the history of St. Nicholas. (thought to be a protector of children). Telling fables, stories of gods and goddesses that aren’t proven to be “true” isn’t considered “lying”, so why is Santa?
    7.Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. His date of birth is not known. It was thought to be in the fall. January 6 was thought to be his baptismal day. December 25 was later adopted in Rome, as it coincided with winter solstice, the Yule, and the Saturnalia. Celebrating spiritual leaders by those who chose to do so should not be criticized.
    8.Kissing under the mistletoe is a pledge of friendship.
    9.Learning to celebrate and embrace others, no matter what the holiday teaches acceptance. Inviting people into our home on Christmas Eve to have warm food, a glass of wine, and fun conversation is a tradition I love. We invited a Jewish family over last night, who really seemed to enjoy spending time with us on Christmas Eve. Our children are taught in school many different cultures, holidays, and celebrations. In the last month, they have come home with items from Diwali, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, and Christmas decorations.
    10.The following holidays are celebrated in the month of December: Yule, Winter Solstice, St. Nicholas Day, Fiesta of our Lady Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Los Posadas, Sovaluna, Dong Zhi, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Omisoka, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day. Seems like a time to celebrate to me!

    Getting time off work for “Christmas” encompasses several holidays. The customs and traditions that we know as the traditional Christmas is a combination of the Yule, Winter Solstice, and Saturnalia. It’s a time to be festive and a celebration of the home. It does not have to be thought of a just a Christian holiday.

    By the way, there are 6 national holidays that are given off each year. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day. Easter is on a Sunday, is not considered a national holiday. And other than Christmas, none are religious holidays…

    ‎"And the Grinch stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?…

  27. Annoymous says:

    This country didn't even do Christmas until after the Civil War. So our First Amendment right too ignore a stupid holiday is worthy of deportation and exile? Your disgusting.

  28. Annoymous says:

    Why are you bigoted towards the autistic?

  29. ex-mrs claus says:

    Mrs. Claus and Santa are getting a divorce after 72 centuries of marraige

  30. Marcy says:

    I see them more as sheep…..or a plague of locusts…or mindless zombies

  31. Tim says:

    The phrase "separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Please read the document before giving an opinion about what is NOT in it!!

  32. elephantjournal says:

    Always healthy to ask questions, reexamine held beliefs…thanks for the article. But…here's two rebuttals to two of Sarah's 10 points: 1. Tree farms can be okay: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/12/pine-or-pl… and Why I say "Merry Christmas" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/12/merry-chri

    ~ Waylon

  33. elephantjournal says:

    Our soldiers aren't dying for Christmas…they're dying for our values, hopefully, and those values include freedom to worship, freedom of religion…the Founding Fathers took great pains to make it clear that the USA was not a Christian country, but rather a country that welcomed all faiths, and non-believers too. Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all!

    Yer favrit crazy librel,

    Waylon

  34. elephantjournal says:

    Don't be! I think part of Sarah's point is, to each his/her own! That any one view shouldn't be forced upon everyone.

  35. elephantjournal says:

    You should write a new version! I still appreciate this classic, for its ability to inspire a new appreciation of this season—to separate what's wonderful about it from the commercialism.

  36. elephantjournal says:

    That's a bit deceptive…that phrase may not have been in use at that time but the value most certainly was. Google it, just a little bit.

    Here's Jefferson's letter on the matter: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html

  37. barbaranelles says:

    I am so happy not to be involved in the whole obligatory gift-buying mess. We have completely checked out of that ritual. Although, I do love certain Christmas carols and Christmas cookies–baking and eating. When someone wishes me Merry Christmas [which they often do around here, with a vengeance] I always respond, 'and festivus for the rest'uv us!'

  38. guest says:

    sweet post. I am not a christian but I love christmas! probably because its a tradition I grew up with. But I can understand that it's overkill. It's December 4th and christmas music is making me want to hurt someone already.
    The christmas tree is eastern european and German by the way (and pagean, so happy holiday 😉 ). In Germany, Santa Clause has it's own day: December 6th. And if you put your boot in front of your door, you'll get chocolate or a small gift.
    While it's out of control, it depends on what you make of it in your own life (you are a yogi, shouldn't you know that ;P)
    I am torn about the Happy Holiday/winter solicit/christmas/winter thing: Wishing someone a happy [enter the holiday you celebrate] does not imply that's the only holiday. If I know the person well enough, I would obviously wish them whatever their own holiday is. But either way, wishing someone a peaceful/happy/ awesome time should be seen as is: wishing someone a peaceful/happy time of multiple holidays coming together within a couple of weeks. I wouldn't hold it against anyone. But then again, I am not american 😉
    keep posting !

  39. guest says:

    that's a silly post. your soldiers are dying for your freedom. one of them is the freedom to not shut up. and obviously, christmas is not an american holiday as it came from europe.(I know, eww europe) Your country is built on freedom of (and from) religion, freedom of speech. you are trying to undercut that? not very american.

  40. guest says:

    Celebrating spiritual leaders by those who chose to do so should not be criticized.
    religion should not be off limits to criticize. There is nothing speshul about religion. You can criticize politics, why not religion? And the criticism is not about celebrations but about christians hijacking an entire month and complaining if others celebrate other (older) holidays around the same time.

  41. EEEB says:

    Omfg lighten up for crying out loud. Winning about shit that makes other people happy is more annoying than any of the stuff u mentioned. Go move to somewhere dark and gloomy. No one will miss u trust me.

  42. Sickofbellyaching says:

    Spell Walmart right and maybe people will care about ur opinion.

  43. EEEB says:

    This is the best comment on here. Cheers.

  44. Oops says:

    Whinning*

  45. EEEB says:

    Amy ur awesome!

  46. Jean LeBlanc says:

    Also, why would you complain about a free day off? When I was in school and I got two days off for Rosh Hashanah, I never complained about not getting Vesak. Instead I sang Hava Nagila, ate some bagels, seized the day, and had fun!

    Happy holidays all! And merry Christmas if you celebrate it!

  47. pat says:

    So go to work. Get caught up. I'd be happy to take the month of ramadan off! LOL

  48. Brad Pitt says:

    Wow have you missed the entire point. Yeah I guess a season of giving and joy and celebration and love for your fellow person are all wrong.

  49. creativewhimsy says:

    Yes, Christmas, like all of our society's holidays, festivals and celebrations have become ridiculously commercial and long since lost its meaning to many. But I will continue with this tradition as it feels to me to be a time of joy and goodwill to others.
    I am not a practicing Christian but the teaching of Christ as a child resonated with Love and this holiday makes most people in my town, smile for no reason at all. There is a community dinner held for those who wish to come, free of charge, put on by folks who donate their time and others who donate what ever they can. I wish it were Christmas all the time! I do try to remember to sing out Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas but sometimes forget in my excitement and exuberance. These greetings are full of joy and truly wish others the joy I feel! I make a lot of items I give for Christmas and usually can't wait to see the look on the faces of my loved ones when they open their gifts! It's about the giving and not the getting! My children are so good at this, wanting to give more than get!
    In these economic hard times, I hope we will all ponder the meaning of this holiday as we pare down our spending, scrimp and save for that special something for someone special, and truly look towards the well being of our fellow man.

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