Do you ever feel like you want to be someone else when the Christmas season is approaching? Time to change characters from what you are expected to be versus what you are really feeling? I take comfort in the fact that I am able to do exactly that every Christmas season…

I am the Grinch!

I wake up and suddenly my heart is two sizes smaller. The color of my skin has turned a bright lime green covered in fur. The whites of my eyes turn a strange color yellow. I lay awake thinking of ways to sabotage Christmas. No presents. No holiday feast. No decorations. No Christmas tree. I see the people of Whoville filled with joy and holiday spirit as they wrap presents, go caroling and shopping and revel in the gargantuan happiness of the holiday.

Uggghhh… The madness of it all!

A true Grinch would rather wallow in self pity or stare into the abyss (according to my Grinch T-shirt). Somehow I can relate to that feeling once the Christmas season is upon us. I believe there are endless numbers of us who actually feel the same but are afraid to say it because we are “supposed” to show holiday cheer from Halloween till New Years.

“Three thousand fee up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,

He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!”

My conclusion about my negativity is that Christmas has become too commercial. The true meaning has been lost in shopping, wrapping, spending and the rush to be the biggest buyer on Amazon. While I try each year to allow my heart to grow three sizes larger, my attempts inevitably fail. I “dumpit to Crumpit.” While in the Grinch’s lair you can hear the jubilation of Whoville but not participate!

As you are reading this sad satire, the Christmas spirit in most of you is hoping for a happy ending where Cindy Lou Who and The Grinch hold hands and sing Christmas carols. I think I may be able to deliver that message this year.

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

2020, with its pain and stress, has made me realize something different about Christmas. Dealing with a pandemic and the lack of closeness with our family and friends makes anything we have to celebrate take on a warm and rich meaning. Suddenly a Christmas holiday takes on a distinct effect.

I, generally disguised as the Grinch through Dec. 25, have a new appreciation for what this holiday actually celebrates. Even though the packages, shopping and over extension of almost everything will probably never change, this year we are celebrating something very different. We are honoring healthcare workers, families, neighbors, students, frontline workers, and just the appreciation of being together even when we are apart.

I have witnessed so much love and thoughtfulness throughout Coronado. People truly helping people. Neighbors watching over one another. Shopping, eating and staying local to help those in our community. Realizing that being home most of the time is not easy, we are spending quality time with our family, and that is irreplaceable. The simple ability to drive around the island and enjoy the Christmas lights, wave hi to friends, and appreciate how lucky we are to live here certainly makes this Grinch see Christmas in a whole new light. Coronado is a special community and we are standing together through a rough year. We need to keep the faith and know that this too shall pass and we will be stronger for the experience.

For this Grinch, it has been the extra time with my daughter, zoom calls with friends, late night texts, and home cooked meals that have brought Christmas to my heart in a completely different way in 2020.

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.”

So I am retiring the green suit and joining the throngs of people who love and celebrate this holiday for the right reasons. I have hoped year after year this would happen and in 2020 my wish has come true. I venture out on the island each evening, loving the lights and find myself singing as we ride. “Blast this Christmas music, it’s joyful and triumphant.”

Thank you Santa for sticking with me and thank you friends, family and neighbors for keeping the true joy of Christmas alive and well for us Grinches who may be late to the party but now understand why you have loved this holiday for a lifetime.

Quotes from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss

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