As Dec. 25 approaches, regional writers of my ilk begin searching for whimsical ways to describe a Christmas holiday that so dominates America’s public calendar. In previous years I’ve penned stories about my kids, shared my own Christmas memories or tried my hand at holiday farce.

Obviously not everybody celebrates Christmas in the religious sense, but our country rather insists that you acknowledge its cultural significance. This is true even if you spend the holiday eating Chinese food and streaming anime movies. The words “Joy,” “Hope” and “Love” seem tattooed on the collective derriere of an entire nation.

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