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Color of Money: Being debt-free for the holidays is a feeling you can't buy in a store

Michelle Singletary on

WASHINGTON -- I was intrigued by a letter that a little boy from Virginia wrote to Santa recently as part of a class assignment.

His mother posted the letter -- which was decorated with both green wreaths and skulls -- on Twitter. It quickly went viral.

Contrary to what one might think, it wasn't what the boy asked for that drew so much attention. It was his smirking at Santa.

He wrote, "Santa Im only doing this for the class. I know your notty list is emty. And your good list is emty. and your life is emty. You dont know the trouble Ive had in my life. Good bye."

He did sign it with "love."

View the letter yourself at http://bit.ly/2BBWEdS.

 

The boy's "trouble" turned out to be just a brother, said his mother Sarah McCammon, a reporter for NPR, who asked that people not call child services.

The headlines about the tweet called the child "disgruntled" and a "skeptic." I'm not sure it's even that deep. He's 6, and it was an assignment he probably didn't want to do. But his note did have me thinking about the things I dislike the most about the holiday season.

At the top of my list, of course, is commercialism. There's so much emphasis on the presents rather than your presence.

A poll by Ebates, the electronic rebate company, found that the biggest stress point for people during the holidays is related to shopping. People loathe the lines (69 percent). Some respondents said they were concerned about going over their budget (36 percent). And others simply fret about getting the right gift for folks (25 percent).

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