Hard times now can protect you in the future. Sort of like a flu shot.

Red's Wrap

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I am a person with a very uneven Christmas life.

When I was a kid, the quality of Christmas – not the presents but the mood – depended on whether business at our Ben Franklin Store had been good or not so good. There were many years when our chops got busted by the K-Mart down the road and then there were years when my father’s savvy and tenacity outwitted the “Big Guys” as he called K-Mart. It was always the Little Guy (singular) vs. the Big Guys (very plural).

My mother, by doing the same modest things every year, the tree, the lights, the stockings, the late dinner, made Christmas a little shining haven for our family, all of us working in the store until the last shopper left on Christmas Eve. We always patched along, if that makes sense.

Then there were the Christmases with a husband and in-laws…

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