Squaring my inner Grinch with the joy that is Christmas
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Monday, December 03, 2012
12/03/12 at 6:03 AM
Because I Said So is a blog written by five parents and one grandparent.
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I'm known at home as the Grinch Who'd Like to Steal Christmas.
Driven to near madness by financial stress and knowing they call it Black Friday because of the dark truth, I often mumble and mock my way through the holidays. Yes, Virginia, I'm one of those guys more interested in reading about incentive clauses than Santa Claus.
It wasn't always this way. Way back, many years ago, Christmas was all about me and my sisters, all of us waking up to joyful surprises like a real record player, a barbell set or a new pair of jeans. Mom and Dad put up the tree sometime in early December and took it down in early January and that was that until next time.
We watched "Frosty the Snowman," "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" once a year, as well as the previously referenced Dr. Seuss classic. I didn't discover "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story" until my late 20s, but those were eventually introduced in the Yuletide Play List. And that was that.
Somehow, some way, I married Mother Christmas. She must be wondering when Santa is coming home and when this non-festive pretender will hit the road.
It's not that I hate Christmas; it's that there's so danged much of it. I could care less that some stores start promoting holiday sales prior to my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving - and that Mrs. Walton wants to decorate the tree right after we (over) eat the turkey and watch the Dallas Cowboys lose again.
My problem with Christmas is about quantity, not quality. First of all, where did all of these bad made-for-TV "holiday classics" come from, to put it gently? Secondly, why does Apple have to come out with a new gizmo every December? Thirdly, when will that be that?
My wife has complained about my complaining many times, and the Grinch persona is a source of humor for my children. My point is that I live the giving spirit 353 days a year, so the 12 days of Christmas leave me as feverish as six cooked geese lying in five golden rings of fire.
Why not give to charity in lieu of gifts for those who already have everything? We give throughout the year, to church, United Way and those wonderful souls who ring the Salvation Army bells (I mean that sincerely).
Why not indulge your children for just this one shining season? Are you kidding me? We indulge them all the merry year long, from clothes to vacation to gas money. We even feed those kids regularly.
Man, I'm digging myself a big hole here. Let me dig out carefully. What do I love about Christmas? Let me count the ways: Staying up late that Eve's night putting a bicycle together. Getting woke up at about 6 a.m. Christmas morning by excited children who rarely awake before 8 a.m. themselves.
I love sitting in my chair drinking coffee watching them tear through boxes and share new toys (or Apple's electronic devices) and take pictures with so much enthusiasm. I'm thank-ful I have a wife who loves Christmas so much and realizing, honestly, it's just money and that joy is priceless.
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” the live-action interpretation of the Dr. Seuss classic, stars Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Courtesy