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Gannon Abreu, 13, and his father Danny Abreu pick a paper ornament off of the Tillie’s Touch Christmas Wish Tree on Dec. 1. The Abreus, who live in East Syracuse, are “adopting” a local child for Christmas this year.

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When Dale Johnson was a kid growing up in East Syracuse, he remembers Christmas time was a lot different from what he saw on TV and in the movies. “Christmases were difficult times in my house,” said Johnson, the president of Tillie’s Touch, a not-for-profit which is hosting its second official Adopt-A-Child for Christmas event this year. “I used to watch my mom struggle, my dad was very stingy when it came to giving her money for anything. When it came to Christmas, it was very tough around the house – a lot of fighting and arguing. So I wanted to do something for a child who may be going through the same hardships.”

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