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It was quarter past dawn… All the Whos, still a-bed,
All the Whos, still asnooze When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
“PoohPooh to the Whos!” he was grinchishly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!”
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!”
“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply MUST hear!”
So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
Those lines ran through my mind this morning as I sat on the living room floor, quietly packing up Christmas.
Okay, perhaps I wasn’t actually packing up Christmas… but I was certainly packing up some of the trappings.
It was out of my norm. You see, I’m the kind of girl who loves holidays. I have boxes and boxes of holiday decorations in my garage. Two full size trees (and decorations/tree skirts for three), two nativity sets, multiple smaller trees, decorations for every room of the house, two large wreaths, multiple Advent calendars, pinecones, stockings, serving pieces, even garden décor.
But it is all boxed up right now, save for one wreath. Boxed up and put away with six days still to go until Christmas. No sparking trees on the dining room table. No stockings hung up. No holiday cards sent out.
I’m not Scrooge though. In fact, I’m joyously in the holiday spirit.
You see, I made a conscious decision this year to put the breaks on the trappings.
Why? Its been a crazy year – and its been topped off by a crazy month. I will have traveled 38 out of the 61 days in November/December. I’m exhausted and still going full throttle towards year-end at work to hit a couple of personal career goals. I don’t have time for excess.
But I tried.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, prior to leaving for Italy, I put up one tree. But I couldn’t find the extension cord to check the lights so I didn’t decorate but instead decided to do it the following Sunday when I returned. But then my flight got cancelled and I ended up staying on the road another week as I lost the cushion between trips.
And then I got busy. Crazy busy. Which is really my constant state. But I was somehow crazier busier than normal.
The naked tree just stood there.
But Christmas season soldiered on.
I’ve attended multiple holiday parties. Brunches, lunches, and cocktails with friends.
I’ve been to The Nutcracker. And The Nutty Nutcracker.
I attended our town’s Christmas Parade and tree lighting.
I’ve watched Love Actually. Three times.
And The Love Boat Christmas special. Twice.
I’ve enjoyed many holiday cards and photos.
I’ve dressed up in sparkly clothes.
And played with gingerbread.
And ALL of my holiday shopping is long do
I realized that my priorities has been set. And for this year, perhaps, I didn’t need the tree – or the stress of coming home from vacation in early January and feeling like taking it down was just one more thing to do, rather than a tangible holiday delight.
And so I lovingly sat this morning, packing up Christmas because my holiday has already been decorated with the things that matter this season – people and experiences.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And 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!”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss