By G. E. Shuman
I have always thought that the only thing worse than decorating for Christmas, was un-decorating. I’m sorry, Christmas decorations are very festive, but taking down all of that ‘stuff of December’ has always felt like torment, to me. My wife doesn’t seem to mind the day that we pack up all the ornaments, lights, left-over gift wrap, and other things, but I just hate it. Lorna carefully wraps up the breakable ornaments, and faithfully places them back in their original boxes, so they’re all set for the next year. I’d almost rather leave it all up, or leave it all packed away. I know how terrible that sounds. As proof of my dislike for ‘de-decorating,’ there is a 5-foot tall wooden star up on the front of our house, that has stood guard at the third-floor attic level for, I believe, three Christmases now, without being taken down. Even though all that is necessary to remove the star is to go into the attic and untie the rope that holds it, and then slowly lower the thing down onto the front lawn, I have neglected to do so. My reasoning is that in the winter, when it is in season, the star can be seen from all over town, as it should be, although I must admit that it hasn’t been lit for those three years, either. In summer, when the star should be stored in that attic, the leaves from our huge maple tree completely conceal it, appropriately, from view. I’m not quite sure, but I guess I have just, as The Beetles once sang, ‘Let It Be’.Ę
I happened to have the day off today, and, while outside earlier, letting Lorna’s dachshund go to the lawn to do her little morning dribbling (that’s not a basketball reference), I remembered that it is no longer December, and that I should probably take down the man-sized plywood Grinch that has been adorning the front porch since around Thanksgiving. I quickly decided that no one in my family would let me get away with leaving it out there all year, like I have the star. I made the Grinch two years ago, and, hopefully, if you have been following my December columns, you understand that it is just put on the porch as a joke. The idea is that the Grinch is out there, pulling down the Christmas lights. Ha Ha. I actually think he’s pretty cool.
So, today, Mr. Grinch was relegated, once again, to his spot in the corner of our cellar. He was leaned up next to my Halloween skeleton that is made out of gallon plastic milk jugs, (don’t ask) and covered with a plastic tarp. The lights that I use with him, and the makeshift stand that I contrived out of part of our satellite dish, (after realizing that the Grinch needed it more than I did), along with a small spotlight and several extension cords, reclaimed their places in a cardboard box labeled ‘Grinch supplies’, and were then placed in their spot on a cellar shelf, where they will rest for the next 11 months or so.
I’m not sure exactly why I thought you would be interested in hearing about my de-Grinching of our front porch today. I just did. It’s a new year, with new opportunities and bright possibilities for us all. Maybe each of us could benefit from a little de-Grinching.