I’m having a hard time with Christmas this year. I spent most of the fall being grumpy about all the people who were focused on Christmas when we still had Halloween and Thanksgiving to celebrate. All that early hype is a frenzy fed by pure commercialism, so I get to feel superior for not giving in. I growl at all the people who genuinely love the holiday and get excited in October.

My superior position has its down side. I got so good at being grumpy about Christmas, that I was even cranky when I saw my neighbors hanging their outdoor lights after Thanksgiving. Here was someone taking the holidays in their proper order, and I growled at them. WTF?

This brought home to me how easily an attitude can become a habit. After three months of practice, December arrived, and I was a full-fledged Grinch.


I love the story of the Grinch, but the whole point is that Christmas wins him over in the end. He learns to enjoy the holiday and gives up his grumpy ways.

I don’t want it to be a fight. I want to be won over now. So I determined to give up being grouchy about other people’s excitement. Whenever I see decorations in my neighbors’ yards, I make a point of thinking “Look at those beautiful lights. I’m so glad they put those up.”

It seemed like the perfect way to “ditch the Grinch” and embrace the coming holiday. Only it’s not working. I’m still feeling grumpy about Christmas. And that’s got me thinking: Do I need to decorate, too?

While I’m pretty sure putting ups some lights of my own will make me happier about the coming holiday, I’m conflicted. We won’t actually be home this Christmas, and that always makes me think there isn’t any reason to bother. No party, no company, no need for a tree to stick the presents under.

With our upcoming trip and all the things I need to do before we leave, it’s easy to feel like I can’t spare the time to decorate right now. It takes me about four hours to put out everything, including the tree, but I can get a lot of other stuff done in four hours.

Slushie the Snowman. Best beanie baby ever!

I sense that my best bet is to go ahead and put out some decorations. Candles and lights make me smile so much, I leave them out right through January. A change in the house, a red towel or stuffed snowman, can remind me that December is here and I have some fun times ahead. So I’ll get out Slushie the Snowman and some strings of colored lights and see if I can’t lift my mood by decorating for the holidays. With luck, I can smile the grinchiness out of my system before I see my family.

Do you decorate for the holidays, even when you won’t be home on the actual day? Why or why not?

12 thoughts on “Ditching the Grinch, But Must I Decorate?”

  1. I think that’s a good idea, just bringing out a few things that make you smile. I skip Xmas decorating every once in a while, and I think it’s actually a good idea–it makes me ready to do it the next year. If you aren’t feeling it, I would definitely skip it; who needs more “shoulds” in her life?

  2. It’s getting harder and harder for me to put up a big tree now that my sons aren’t home, but my hubby likes it so, we put up a big tree.

    We replaced our huge entertainment center with much smaller one this year so I don’t have anywhere to put my favorite decorations, which kind of bums me out. However, change is a part if life and I’m trying to get better at it.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that you are able to successfully ditch the Grinch!

    1. My husband is not a big fan of Christmas and there are no children, so anything I do is really just for me. And I can’t seem to figure out what I really want! Hoping to go through the boxes this weekend and pull out my favorite things to put up around the house.

      You have a great Christmas, too.

    1. When I was a kid, we always made paper decorations for all the holidays and put them in our picture window even though the house was a long way from the street. I haven’t thought about that in years but it’s a happy holiday memory. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. I haven’t put up outside decorations for a few years, it just got to be too time consuming and I my neighbors stopped putting up their lights also. So now I live in a Christmas light dead zone. What I do enjoy is getting a nice Christmas themed floral display for the living room and lighting candles.

    1. I’ve never done outside lights. I string them up around windows inside to share them with the neighbors

  4. For whatever reason, I still enjoy holiday decorations. I do wait until after thanksgiving…..and I keep them up through the the 12 days…..which reminds me to carry the spirit of the holidays into the new year!

    1. I got a few things out over the weekend and have been watching my favorite Christmas movies. It seems to help.

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