CHRISTMAS SENTIMENT. One recent Christmas ritual for our family is that I read aloud CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING, a book by Pearl Buck that the family gave me a few years ago. It’s a sentimental story about a boy doing the farm chores on Christmas morning as a gift to his father. Part of the ritual is that everybody watches to see how far into this sentimental book I can get before tearing up.

I told Annalisa that I was going to post about how I tear up reading the book, and she said, fondly: “Tear up? Your throat gets so constricted you can barely talk.”

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