Recently someone asked me where the material for my blog comes from … and I’ll share with you that TRULY it is simply the goings on of a normal life. And as I get ready to write this content, I am quite certain that variations of this story have happened to you this week.
We are in the midst of the holiday season… the season of goodwill toward all people, young and old, gift giving, hugs, kindness, snowflakes and an optimistic view toward a coming year full of better things and new beginnings.
With this spirit in mind, I started this week like Cindy Lou Who. By way of reminder, in the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch is a lonely character who watches the events of the town below his mountain perch with aggravation, malevolence and not a small amount of carefully hidden jealousy. The story describes his heart as “two sizes too small.” No question, books could be written (and probably have been) on the correlation between the Grinch character and human characteristics during this would-be joyful season. Cindy Lou Who, meanwhile, is a happy little Whoville girl who awaits the arrival of Christmas but is grounded enough to know that the season is really about love, versus gifts and garland.
So, I started Monday like Cindy Lou Who. Happy, listening to Bing Crosby sing Christmas carols, and toodling down the hill from our somewhat isolated spot away from the world to brave Christmas shopping in the towns along I-84.
…which now precipitated an unfolding of events that began with a crowded, hot, sweaty Target (at 8 a.m. no less), a packed Christmas Tree Shop, where I thought a woman was going to smack me one for picking up a bag of bows that she obviously had her eye on. Then on to Barnes & Noble, which I love (who doesn’t love a book?) but where you could literally bankrupt yourself. Back on to I-84 where I took my life in my hands with drivers cutting me off and swerving in and out of traffic… and more than usual for the northeast. Finally, the best… a simple miscommunication about parking in the post office parking lot turned into the gentleman in the pickup truck giving me the finger.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this is the point where I lose hope in humanity and want to cry. Because underneath the professional, suit-wearing, West Point grad is a really a soft-hearted girl.
AND, after the morning’s activities, I am now the Grinch. I hate everyone. I want to steal everyone’s Christmas tree and turn my Golden Retriever into a “reindeer” with antlers tied to his head so I can rally a sleigh filled with stolen gifts… after which I will return to my little house on the mountain and never come out again.
Or, Plan B, I’ll have a glass of wine upon arrival at home, at 2 p.m.
Am I drinking as I write this (at 2 pm on Monday)? No. But I want to.
And I wonder… HOW has it come to this? HOW… did we land here? A land of insanity, frantic shopping, overspending, obligatory gift giving, etc., etc., etc. All precipitated two thousand years ago by an act of unprecedented giving, love and the saving of humanity.
I just don’t know.
And then I get the text from the sister I adore, with a simple reminder that it is at times like these that we have the opportunity to be Cindy Lou Who, by bringing a simple kindness, a smile, a ray of light into someone else’s holiday.
And I think my favorite ray of light on Monday (besides her text) was the Salvation Army guy at Stop & Shop, who was shivering just a bit, bundled up against the cold, and beamed I tell you… beamed at me… with a smile that said, “It’s okay.”
As the week continues, it is time for gift wrapping and baking banana bread and sending holiday cards, but as I go about these activities I find I am thinking of the Salvation Army guy… and I will hold on to that beaming smile from that gentleman and channel Cindy Lou Who.