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Merry Christmas once more

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Posted: 6 am ET

My husband and I are at the beach for the holidays. We thought it would be just us this year because our kids were all planning to do something else -- like visiting their in-laws or working.

Frankly, we weren't unhappy about their plans. For the last couple of years, we've gone to great lengths to get everybody together for Christmas. While it was nice to see them, it was tiring, and we were as happy to wave goodbye as we were to hug them hello. This year was supposed to be a quiet celebration with just the two of us.

Wrong. One by one, the kids said, "Mom, we think think we might come to the beach this year after all -- if it's OK with you." And, of course, it was OK. So today, we have 21 people sleeping wherever they can. I've drawn the line at cooking Christmas dinner. It's too much work for a woman who is focused on retirement planning -- we're going out.

The place looks festive -- if messy. I didn't bring the tree with us, so I bought a slightly used one from the thrift shop down the street, along with a few decorations and a package of lights that had never been opened. The whole deal cost me less than $15. It made me laugh because buying used was what I did 40 years ago -- the first time I decorated my own place for the holidays. I may be old and on the verge of retirement, but I'm still the same girl.

We're pouring the eggnog and getting ready to open presents. If you celebrate this holiday, I hope you're doing something similar and having just as good a time.

Merry Christmas.

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