Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Are You a Grinch or a Who?

By Julie Coulter Bellon

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I have Grinch tendencies in me.

I refuse to listen to Christmas music for the entire month of November. There are only so many Christmas songs and if you’ve listened to them all over and over for two months straight, it will do something to your psyche. (Although Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano has a catchy ring to it. I love that song!) Now, of course there are those of you who probably listen to Christmas music all year long and are happy, peaceful people—constantly smiling and singing Jingle Bells under your breath. It’s just not me.

I don’t want to see Christmas displays the day after Halloween. There is just something inherently wrong in seeing Christmas trees on Nov. 1st and seeing all the Christmas merchandise put out. Of course there are those of you who probably think you need that to remind you to get your shopping done early or something. It’s just not me.

I can’t bring myself to wish others a Merry Christmas until at least after Dec. 1st. Isn’t there a rule about that or something? Like not wearing white after Labor Day?

I don’t put my Christmas tree up until Dec. 3rd at the earliest. Partly because it’s sort of a pain to do, but it’s also a family tradition since our son’s birthday is right before that and we like to celebrate his birthday first. I like taking the tree down soon after Christmas as well. I had a neighbor once who left their tree up until March. That’s just not me.

Yet, even with all of these Grinch tendencies, I do not go around saying, "Bah humbug," and I don’t have prejudices against small creatures, like the Who’s in Whoville. I do, however, have some "Who" tendencies to balance my Grinch ones.

I love sending out Christmas cards.

I love making gifts for my closest friends and neighbors.

I love the spirit in the air when the first snow hits and it starts to feel like Christmas.

I love to see the lights on people’s houses and especially those on Temple Square.

I love the excitement of wrapping gifts and the anticipation of the receiver’s reaction to the gift I’ve gotten for them.

I love Christmas movies, plays, and books. Partly because they almost always end happily and make me feel good inside. A Christmas Carol is a favorite, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, I love them all. In case any of you are interested, Betsy Brannon Green has a Christmas story on her website, called "A Christmas in Haggerty" and it is wonderful. You can find it at Marnie Pehrson also has a Christmas story available on her website called, "Miss Humbug." You can find it at

I love Christmas traditions with my children and decorating the house for Christmas. I have collected a lot of beautiful nativity scenes and I love putting those out. Some of the most precious ones are those my children have made at school when they were little and it brings back so many wonderful memories when we display them and remember how small my children once were. I still recall the years when we could only decorate the upper half of our tree because of the tiny hands that were attracted to the ornaments. Or how we had to wait until the children went to bed to make some hasty rearrangements of the ornaments on the tree because someone had put twenty on one branch. Of course we did it in secret so we didn't hurt any feelings. Those days go by all too quickly.

So whether you consider yourself a Grinch or a Who, I believe it’s all about balance. It’s such a happy, busy, beautiful, stressful season and I hope you are all going to take a bit of time this year to be with your family, read a story, watch a Christmas movie or do what you love and feel the joy in it.

Merry Christmas!


At 12/06/2007 12:21 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I watched It's a Wonderful Life last night and wept like a fool. I have some pretty grinchy tendencies, but I think I'm balanced about it too :)

At 12/06/2007 1:10 PM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

Are you balanced if you spend the first forty years of your life being a Who and the next forty years being a Grinch? Probably not, huh?

At 12/06/2007 1:56 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Julie I'm so glad there is someone else out there like me! :)

Melanie, it's sort of a balance, but I think it's probably best to be a Who first, then a Grinch. I am finding I'm more grinchy as the years go on. Maybe that's it. I'm just getting old. LOL

At 12/06/2007 3:08 PM, Blogger marcus said...

I don't see it as particularly grinchy that you want to confine the Christmas season to the month of December. For one, part of what makes Christmas special is that it's only a short period of time every year. By letting it spill over into other months it takes away from the uniqueness of the season. Just like anything that's rare, once it ceases to be rare, it loses it's value. Secondly, though, the extension of the Christmas season is fueled by commercial interests. You didn't see many Christmas light displays on November 1, until stores started marketing Christmas stuff in October and earlier. That Christmas doesn't come from a store is the very lesson that the story of the Grinch teaches.

At 12/06/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Well said, Marcus. Thank you!

At 12/06/2007 5:53 PM, Blogger A. Riley said...

I don't like dealing with Christmas stuff until the day after Thanksgiving. I wouldn't really consider myself a grinch though.

I just feel like another poster, that if Christmas starts right after Halloween, it loses it's specialness. I also feel strong that Thanksgiving needs to have it's time. I know it's not a heavily commericalized holiday, but it still has meaning.

In my heart though, I love Christmas and the music, and the decorations and lights. I just feel like it needs to wait until after Thanksgiving. After that, I'm a Who all the way. I really could care less if I got any gifts or not for Christmas. I just love the holiday.

At 12/06/2007 6:44 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

I'm only a Grinch while I'm putting the lights on the tree. I'm married to an electrician, yet I always have to do the lights. After Christmas, I'm going to go look at those prelit trees. Seriously, I love Christmas. One of the best I remember was in July. Usually, I like most of the Christmasy stuff kept to December, but I buy a gift now and then throughout the year.

At 12/06/2007 8:08 PM, Anonymous Sitting by a Blog Fire said...

Yeah, I can either way, but it is weird to go from Halloween straight into christmas and it's still three weeks until Thanks Giving Day. I love the blasting that holiday music, my ultra favorite is watching those classic movies like yourself. This holiday season I took a job promoting some of my family’s favorite classics that have been compiled into a special gift set called: The ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS CLASSICS. It’s a limited edition DVD box which includes: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Santa Clause is Coming to Town". You can get the set anywhere they sell DVDs or at Oh, and it includes a bonus music CD, we play it at my office and it just puts Christmas conviviality into the air. Since, I've been working with them I hear how this was and is the gift that keeps on giving, you can share it with any and everyone.

At 12/06/2007 8:34 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

Can I just say one positive thing about having Christmas show up in the shops in early November? When you have family who live far, far away you have to start shopping early in order to mail it and have it get there at a reasonable time. It used to be impossible to find wrapping paper and bows, etc. early enough to get gifts there on time. So for that reason, I like it.

But at the same time, on a personal level, I hate it when people turn their Christmas lights on before Thanksgiving.


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