Monday, December 13, 2010

how to ditch the grinch

"Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...

But the Grinch
Who lived just north of Who-ville, 
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small."

Now my Parker does love Christmas.
very much so.
And I most definitely do.
so I guess I'm not quite sure who's to blame for our little home's grinch-y green hue.
(I'm not one to point fingers, BUT, all five of my little piggies seem to be pointing to
Parker, Parker, Parker, Parker, AND...Parker. respectively.

Ok, that was unfair.
I'm guilty by association,
an accomplice to this Christmas crime.
I'll own it.)

Needless to say,
this isn't how I pictured out first Christmas.
As soon as that first snow dusted our rooftop I began mapping out our Christmas shrine.
And with December 1st just days away, I decided to relay my holiday shopping list to Santa...
"Peppermint candy canes, 
heaps of holly, 
twinkling lights on a baby tree brimming with ornaments,
and a sprig of mistletoe glued to Parker's noggin' so I can kiss him all I want."

He said no.
We don't have the money.
We don't have the space.
And we won't even be home for Christmas.
Why bother?

With my Christmas dreams dashed I tried to see the Santa's logic.

I thought about money.
If we did buy decor, it'd be chincy.
Nothing I'd dare display in our future home.
Plus, I could buy more presents with the money I'd saved for the deck the halls fund!

I thought about space.
I'd already claimed the entirety of the main closet
and left Santa the coat closet for his things.
And if that didn't put me at the top of the naughty list,
adding another box or two to the growing heap in the hallway would guarantee me a sooty stocking.

So I thought about his last point.
True we wouldn't be home for Christmas.
Not home in this home at least.
But even still,
we had 24 long December days to get through before we'd be saying so long to Salt Lake and hello to Sparks.
And that, to me, seemed like reason enough to celebrate.

But Santa'd sold me on 2 of his 3 points,
and I thought that might be enough to get me through those long December days. wasn't.
About a week ago I'd had it.
I was to my wit's end with school.
I'd endured back-to-back days of my slowest-going commutes to date.
And, to top it all off,
I'd been hit with the cold from you-know-where 
and was well on my way to sounding like Wheezy from Toy Story.
(And let me tell you...there is no better way to kill this girl's spirit than to take away her voice.
I feel absolutely helpless whenever I sound like Squeaker McSqueakin'.
It scares me to death that my voice might never come back.
Could you imagine me as a mute?!
I can't either.
The idea terrifies me.
Absolutely terrifies me.)

I bought a bundle of cinnamon-scented pine cones to make myself feel better.
But it didn't really help.

Every other blog I read seemed to be about decorating for the holidays.
And with a million-and-one pictures of my Sparks' home's North Pole appeal
and a visit to my in-laws' home-show-ready winter wonderland,
I really started feeling like the Grinch of the group.
Dumb pine cones...

One day I decided to take one of my long commutes to relay the sad story to my mom.
I should've known what would happen after my request for one Christmas tree photo turned into twenty-plus pictures and a blog post,
but I never take a moment to think before I vent.

I ended my tirade as I walked through the front door.
I'd blown a fuse when Parker'd pointed out that a total 2.5% of our neighbors had decided to put up lights this year.
Where's the Christmas cheer people?
Come on!

Parker eyed me warily as he listened in on the conversation.
"Really Mom, it's not worth what it'd cost to ship it."

"I know, it'd be nice.  I just don't know where we'd store it.  Plus it's one more thing to move when it comes time for dental school."

"Well that's true.  I can't imagine skipping Christmas for a full five years."

I can hear the cautionary tone in Parker's voice.
Don't cross me on this,
he says with his eyes.

"Uh-huh.  I'm still not sold on the whole shipping thing.  We'll be okay mom.  I'll be home before I know it."

Parker smiles.

"Okay...I can't say no to that.  
I'll clear out a spot in my closet.  
I'm so excited!"

He frowns.

I say a quick goodbye and hang up the phone.

"I thought we'd agreed on this Chels."

"We had. I just changed my mind."

"Where will you put it?"

"I'll find room."

"You'd better."

He smiles.
Deep down he's ecstatic.
I know from the way his face lit up the night I brought the pine cones home.
Turns out my Grinch really isn't green after all.
His heart never was two sizes too small.

Two days later I came home to a big white box.
I hurried inside to unpack the little tree my mom had promised.
To my surprise, the Christmas cheer kept coming.

Before I knew it I'd unwrapped big red bows
a smiling snowman
sparkling silver snowflakes
a mini nativity
cinnamon & sugar
a crafty holiday hot pad
twinkling lights 
for our baby tree that'd soon be brimming with 
brightly colored ornaments
and a winter garland Christmas candle to make it all seem real.

Christmas came early!

I had to leave my little haul and head off to work.
I couldn't bear to leave it all lying in that box.
But I didn't have any other choice.

I sped home at the end of my shift, ready to kick into Christmas gear.
I stopped short when I reached the kitchen.
Parker sat criss-cross applesauce on the kitchen floor poking through our box of Christmas cheer.
At his feet lay a big red box
with a real Christmas wreath inside.
I gasped.

"Merry Christmas!"
said my little Grinch with a smile.

Turns out Mom & Dad thought the real scent of pine might make it feel more like Christmas.
They were right.

We spent the rest of the night decorating for our very first Christmas
to the tune of a Pandora playlist with all our favorite carols.

When we finished we snuggled up next to our pretend fireplace (it's a Parker thing) and our twinkling tree to admire our little winter wonderland.

It's the best day I've had all December!

"And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, 
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? 
It came without ribbons! It came without tags! 
It came without packages, boxes or bags!" 

And then he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. 
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! 
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

And what happened then...? Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He wizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he...


The Grinch carved the roast beast!"

Thanks Mom & Dad for helping us ditch the Grinch.

I'm so much happier for it.

Love you and LOVE Christmas.

11 days and counting...



  1. Decorations really do make all the difference! Yours look so good! Love it! I'd be so sad without mine :( I need to take pictures before I have to tear everything down in a few days. And guess what? I might have sold my contract! Maybe. A miracle. My other roomate and so many others here have had their contracts up forever and no one has even asked. I just put mine up like last week and wah-la. Well, maybe. And I have my last interview Tuesday so I could possibly get my call before Christmas if I'm really, really lucky! I'm having a hard time focusing on finals now haha. But good luck with yours! Can't wait to see you guys after Christmas!

  2. Your place looks great! Can't wait to see you both for Christmas! Just make sure you don't bring the storm with you...there's plenty of snow where we're headed! Love you...