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Tis The Season To Buy The Love

How many of us have felt unloved, unloveable? The holiday season is the perfect time to give, give, give and try to get that unconditional love fixed in place for good. (By the way, why do the people who you have a rocky relationship with always get a little extra?)

I'm as guilty as the rest. I ordered a shitload of stuff for my family on Amazon, then got this photo from an 82-year-old friend. It isn't a good picture, but it shows a young blond girl stooping down and talking thoughtfully to a street person, wrapped in bags.

It stopped my heart. I was reminded of the time I was with my grandmother when she saw her first female streetperson, walked right up to her and said, "What happened? What happened to you?" The woman was so shocked that she fled—my grandmother was shocked too.

Now, people who live on the street are a part of our world. We see them every day. How many of us do what this young girl did? One year, on Christmas Day, I went down to the bridge on Grand St. and gave a twenty to every guy sleeping

there. It felt so glorious. But it was only once, and then I got too busy, too self-involved. This year I will remember the lesson because it is the real reason for this season.

—Cynthia Kling

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