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She exploded into a fit, spitting nasty words, flailing her arms about. It was the opposite of Christmas joy. And so I said, “Perhaps this sort of attitude is why your parents kicked you out of their basement. But I bet if you cleaned up your attitude and took a shower, they might take you back for Christmas!”

I couldn’t make out what exactly she said but she certainly wasn’t in the self-help mood so I just turned and went into my party to celebrate the new dawning.

Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He may be reached at charleshurt@live.com.