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By JANNAYA ANDREWS
You’re a mean one, Mrs. Grinch.
After spending the past few days racking my brain in a futile attempt to develop a profound, thought -provoking topic for my column this week, I decided to go with the most pervading thought in my tiny little head for the past several weeks: Christmas. Bah-humbug! Yep, that’s right. Hello, my name is Jannaya, and I’m a grinch.
It isn’t Christmas itself I take issue with, it’s everything surrounding Christmas that makes me want to poke myself in the eye with a candy cane. Christmas displays make their way into department stores earlier each year, and it’s only half in jest when I say next year Christmas decorations will be widely available immediately following Easter Sunday.
Things have gotten so far out of control nobody seems to take notice anymore, it’s simply accepted. Here we are, mid-November, and it’s all Christmas, all the time for your holiday “pleasure.” We’ve yet to celebrate Thanksgiving, but that’s not important. What’s important is we have Christmas music playing and Christmas displays in all the stores. Lest we forget, it’s almost Christmas.
Yes, I’m a grinch. Every year people seem to feel the need to tell me all of the many ways I should decorate my home. “It will make you feel so much better!” First, I don’t need to “feel better” and, frankly, the implication that I’m unhappy simply because I don’t feel the need to string garland and brightly colored lights pulsing with the beat of overly-cheerful, saccharin-laced Christmas music all around my home is a presumptuous.
Let me be clear, I love Christmas. I love spending time with my family. I love spending time with our church family, celebrating the birth of my Savior and reflecting on how the world was changed in a tiny stable in Jerusalem. I enjoy searching for that one perfect gift, that one truly meaningful gift that lights up the face of someone I love, the gift they didn’t even know they wanted until they were holding it in their happy little hands. I truly love Christmas.
What I can do without is the insanity that seems to take over the general population every year as soon as the weather begins to turn the slightest bit colder. Christmas trees and lights sneaking their way down from attics or emerging from their hiding place in the garage, all around the same time little goblins are knocking on doors looking for goodies.
No, I don’t decorate for Christmas. In years past, when our girls were small, I have gone so far as to put up a Christmas tree. However, in the past three or four years that, too, has fallen by the wayside. I have no problem with those who wish to decorate their homes as though Santa’s workshop is hidden in a secret, magical room of their home — accessible, of course, only through the power of belief. If spending countless hours, and money, making your home look like a Norman Rockwell painting makes you happy I say more power to you! Do it up in style and enjoy the fruits of your labor. All I ask is you leave me out of it.
It never fails. Every year I get the same questions. “You’re not decorating? But you HAVE to!” Why? Please, someone tell me why I simply HAVE to decorate my home for Christmas? I have asked this question numerous times while being ostracized for my refusal to take part in the over-the-top commercialism of outdoing the neighbors with my fantastic array of lights that can be seen from space. I’ve yet to receive an answer, other than “Well, you just have to!” Hmmm ... I’m pretty sure I don’t.
I choose to celebrate Christmas in my own way. It may not be the way the mass populace celebrates the occasion, but it’s a celebration nonetheless. So yes, I am a grinch. The closer Christmas gets, the grouchier I become. This is a fact that anyone who knows me will undoubtedly attest to. But it isn’t because I dislike Christmas. It’s because I dislike what Christmas has come to stand for amongst an ever-growing portion of the population. One-upsmanship under the guise of holiday spirit. Hold your angry letters until the end, please. I am fully aware this does not include every Christmas decorator out there. Some truly decorate as an expression of Christmas spirit and I applaud those efforts.
Yes, I am a grinch. I’m happy to be a grinch. It keeps me in line with my normal, cynical self. I’m nothing if not consistent. But before you make the assumption that people who don’t decorate hate Christmas, think again. Maybe it’s just Christmas decorating we dislike. And Christmas music. And Christmas parties. And carolers, definitely carolers. But everything else is fantastic.
Jannaya Andrews is the associate editor of the Decatur Daily Democrat. Reach her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org