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 http://www.betsybrannongreen.net/ Marnie Pehrson also has a Christmas story available on her website called, "Miss Humbug." You can find it at http://www.misshumbug.com/
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.