It's true that we swapped out some holiday traditions this year for a visit to the Nation's Capitol (not to mention my foray to Baja), but we still have enough time to sneak in a few of the prerequisites. The advent calendar hangs on the wall, sadly neglected like a cast-off chore chart. 13 days behind, and nobody seems to care. I guess that's what happens when all your kids are old. We haven't made a single Christmas Cookie, and my sister and I keep playing leapfrog in scheduling, canceling and rescheduling things like tree hunting and Gingerbread Houses (OK, so she beat me to the tree, but still). This is holiday reality. Basketball games instead of gingerbread, fevers of 102º instead of tree hunting... But it's still the holidays, as evidenced by the jingle bells strapped relentlessly around the neck of the poor, deaf Old Truck Hound.
Speaking of hounds, I took a little nostalgic detour through Grinchland this morning - we haven't had time to watch it yet, but we have the whole story on CD that stays in my disc changer in the car year round - I pretty much have it memorized. Anyway, I was thinking about how much I relate to Max the Reindeer/dog, because he really doesn't mean to take everybody's crap, but he's just loyal to his guy, and wants to make everybody happy. He tries so hard, pulling that GIANT sled of confiscated merriment, and it finally gets the best of him. I can't help but thinking that Max is in part responsible for the Grinch's turn, for the 3X growth of his cold, Grinchy heart, as the faithful little dog quietly perseveres, waiting for his master to Get It.
Well folks, I figured it out. The Grinch is Real Life. Bills and responsibility and stealing all the joy. It's overcommitment and obligation and worry. But once we hear the music for what it really is, and that none of those things matter - not the snoof or the fuzzles or tringles or trappings. Max is the people we love and the ones that love us, reminding us that we can do All Those Things, but do we really need to? Or can we just go eat Roast Beast with the rest of the Whos? Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more...