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Happy Holidays!

In April 1985, my roommates in college and I decided to throw a “Christmas” party. We hadn’t bothered to take down our Christmas decorations and lights from the previous December. It was my idea.
And so we decided we’d invite all our friends, play the Band Aid single “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” and the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album (CDs were just beginning to come in vogue and Mannheim Steamroller, like the Alan Parsons Project, was popular with college nerds), and serve meatless pizza, desserts, eggnog and hot apple cider.
My roommate Chris Hull was in charge of the pizza. John Antypas was skilled in the dessert department. My roommate Victor Romano and I went to the local nursery to find the closest thing we could to a “Christmas” tree in April.
One of the employees commented to her co-worker, “It’s some kind of college prank.”
We threw the “Christmas” party at the beginning of the weekend. Victor suggested at one point we all sing Christmas carols! No one was willing to take it that far, though.
As the party drew to a close, we celebrated with a countdown as midnight approached, ringing in the “New year” as April 12th became April 13th, 1985.
My friend Ben, a meat-eating, pro-choice agnostic, into recreational drugs, phoned the next day saying it was the best party he ever attended, and he was amazed that a college-aged crowd could have fun with just music, food and conversation, without any alcohol or drugs.
John Antypas, Chris Hull, and Victor Romano are all half-Jewish. And Victor identifies himself as Jewish, whereas John and Chris consider themselves Christians. When I first met Victor in 1981 and he made a passing reference to celebrating Christmas, I asked him, surprised, "You celebrate Christmas?" Perplexed, Victor responded, "Well, *everybody* celebrates Christmas..." 
When I was a kid, Halloween, not Christmas, was my favorite time of year, because it was a time when you could make believe ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. were real!

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