Sunday, December 02, 2007

Am I a Grinch?


A few ornaments on my Delaware and North Carolina Tree.

I didn’t want to do it.

I didn’t feel like it.

I, who gets all googly-eyed over sparkle, lights, and Christmas, have been feeling like the Grinch.

It’s my favorite season but I dreaded the work this weekend. The ladder was out and the main tree stood tall, waiting for me.

Sometimes, it’s just too much.

It’s the first weekend in December and that’s when I decorate. It’s a tradition I keep, all on one specific weekend. I used to finish all of the decorating in one weekend.

I’m not finished!

When will I shop? When will I by two gifts I need before Thursday? When will I get my hair cut before Michael’s company party?

It was sunny and warm outdoors to wear shorts and flip-flops. Not quite right for decorating, according to me. Michael takes care of outdoor lights these days, thank goodness, because there’s a lot of work for me to do indoors. I refuse to think I’m getting too old to whip everything into shape in one weekend like I used to.

Maybe I need a cold blast of Canadian air to propel me into fast action.

I recall a few warm Decembers in Maryland. Most of them were below freezing. I’d rather decorate wearing hats and gloves.


The roads were crowded with those hauling cut trees on the roof of their cars. It was a decorating weekend.

I played Christmas music on the Bose. I needed it. It helps to get me into the spirit!


This is an ornament on my Maryland tree (click to enlarge).

When I was a young child, my Mom hung glass balls in the picture window of our modest row home in Baltimore City. She hung them with white sewing thread, held up by thumb tacks at the top of the window frame. Below the balls, a candelabra illuminated them at night. They were so beautiful to me. Today I hung one of those balls and noticed a thread that had turned yellow. I held that ball in my hand and remembered how little we owned. We didn't know we didn't have much. We only knew how happy we were. Rich in love and spirit.




I tried pishing today and it worked to entice a Song Sparrow and a Chickadee. Check out Monarch’s video – it’s excellent! I learned that I will never pish with dogs again. Chloe and Bella were escorted inside the house after they both freaked out!



The skies clouded this evening and chilled the air. There’s a “chance” of rain.

Now it feels like Christmas.


Ruth said...

I would be happy to send some cold Canadian air your way! We put up decorations this weekend too, and each year it gets more difficult to go into the crawl space to pull out the Christmas boxes. I like the old decorations that have sentimental memories too.

Carol Michel said...

I put up my Christmas tree on Thanksgiving morning and then finished decorating it the Friday after and also put up outdoor lights that day, too. I'm all set.

It was cold, cloudy, rainy, dreary today. I'm glad for the rain... I do have days during this season when I have to talk myself "down" from getting all freaked out when I look at my "to do" list. But, then when I am in church and it is all calm and solemn for Advent, I remember to just breath and be thankful for it all!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

LauraHinNJ said...

I knew your tree would be up, Mary. Bet your shopping is nearly done too!

Yes, I'm envious!

Mary said...

Ruth, I have a "memory" tree, as I am sure you do, too.

Carol - Well, I am not surprised you accomplished so much so fast, girl! You amaze me :o)

Laura, here's new for you. I haven't even started to "think" about shopping. The gift bags and paper are waiting. My word verif is BUYyjh.

Anonymous said...

I am soo glad that you were able to pish in those birds! Not to self, don't do with dogs! LOL! Great work and I always take my time in putting up my Christmas things!

Alyssa said...

I can see why sunny and warm weather wouldn't put you in a holiday mood. Sometimes the decorating seems like an insurmountable tast to me. This year I'm doing some every weekend. That way it isn't such a burden. I was playing carols yesterday while I organized what I wanted to use. Two weeks before Christmas will be the tree weekend.
It would be nice, if once in a while, someone else did all of the decorating and I could just sit back and enjoy it.

I like to look back at my childhood Christmases - they seem much simpler and were, to me, a lot more fun.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who has a problem getting in the spirit of things.

I've done almost all of my shopping over the internet this year - last year too. It's a great way to save time for me.

As the time gets closer, I begin to look forward to the celebrations and time spent with family. Then all the hassel seems worth it.

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

I paid my nephew 10.00 to hang my lights up and he was happy. Find a teenager and have them put your lights up. xoxo Nita

Unknown said...

no no no I am the Grinch. I did get my living room cleaned so I can start decorating but didn't. I will have to drag out the stuff tomorrow night.

Yea you pished! fun isn't it. That was the best post that Tom did.

Jayne said...

We got that rain last night Mary, so it's maybe headed your way. And, it's much more breezy and cold outside this morning...finally. I am with you. It's hard to want to decorate and sing about snow in flip flops!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Well Mz Grinch the cold weather will snap you out of it. I too find that I have trouble getting things decorated as I slip into the elder years. However I did add a couple of strands of greenery and lights where there has been none in past years so there is hope. :) Hang in there girl.

Luna gets all worked up when I pish too. Especially if we are not in her territory. She perks up and looks for the prey. She has gotten used to it somewhat tho. I can now stand in one place and not have to keep moving when I pish. So your dogs can get used to it if you do it enough. It is facinating. The only bird that usually responds to my pishing is the Song Sparrow.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I love seeing you reflected in the glass ornament! (a 2-for-1 shot!)
And I know the feeling of having so many things to do--all "traditions". Sometimes making new traditions helps. Not abandoning what's important, but being sure we're doing only what's necessary. We've cut back since the kids have grown and gone. I'm home less and elaborate mantels aren't appreciated by our house mouse! Otherwise, the weight of it all smothers the joy.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mare,
I totally understand your grinchiness because I get the same way. It would be nice if we could just put all of the regular stuff (work, cleaning, laundry, etc.) on the back burner for a couple weeks to enjoy the preparation for the holiday, but sometimes it seems like the holiday is just one more thing to worry about on the already overloaded "to do" list. Hang in there, girlfriend, 'cuz we're all pretty much in the same boat right now.
P.S. I still haven't taken down Thanksgiving yet! ;-)

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, sounds like you're feeling not so much grinchly as nostalgic. And you've rekindled a memory for me with your description of shiny Christmas balls on strings - my mother did something like that, too. The last few years, I've learned to enjoy a tree with only lights for a few days, mostly because that's all I could get done at the time.

Wonderful self-portrait there!

Mary said...

Hi how are you?
We aren't doing good today.
I had to put my baby Max to sleep.
It won't be a happy Christmas for us here in Florida but I hop yours will be good.

Mary said...

Dear Mary in Florida,

My heart is breaking for you...losing a Boston Terrier as special as Max takes a big piece of your heart away. I can only imagine your grief.

Hugs to you,

Mary said...

Thank you.
We will go on and rescue another.
I figure that it is good to rescue them that way we can love them while we can and give them a good life.
This is the second boston like her Delila has outlived. She sad today! I cried "I want my puppy" and "god took my baby home" Well dog spelled backward is god. Oh well I'm gonna take a break to grieve. After Christmas we will search to rescue another boston.

dguzman said...

You can have some of our snow, Mary! I've been pishing since learning how in Cape May--and it always works for those chickadees and sparrows!

Mary said...

Mary in FL, I know what you mean about Delila's grief. Chloe is 11 now...a few more years maybe, then Bella will be lost. Literally lost without her.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
We need to teach the birds how to hang ornaments! Why can't the squirrels put those lights up?
I so understand. I did not have the enthusiasm I needed to put Christams up until I was bitten by the cleaning bug. All of a sudden I was singing and cleaning and making merry! The depression that started last April lifted! I am so grateful it did too.
Zip-zap-zip, halls are decked, the kids get cash and I am going on a trip to see my daughter as my gift! Suppers are soup and salad or carry in!
It is not "Grincheyness" that got into me but I was tired. So VERY tired. You work three jobs! You go to the office, you care for the house and DOGS and you care for the birds...who is taking care of Mary??? My friend once told me, "everyone needs a housewife!" You need a housewife! You just cannot do it all, sweetheart. Although you do!
I propose: Have the Christmas YOU want. Do the parts that have meaning and are special for you! Do not be concerned about that dust. It will be there in January.
The Christmas Angel does not see dust only caring hearts! She sees you!
Your memory tree is charming! I love the ornaments from your childhood. Remembering how simple life used to be and how much we enjoyed that, does remind us to "Keep it Simple". I think the worry and stress of Christmas takes away from the enjoyment. Relax and enjoy..this is YOUR Christmas too. Make it fun for YOU!
You pished! It worked! I will try it. Mon@rch's pishing post was wonderful! Your bird photos are incredible. Chick-a-dee is your friend..Me too!
Mary, I am sending you a gift. I am sending enthusiasm mixed in with a little rain. The drought! The dreaded drought. Be gone drought! No drought will zap your Christmas. You will have lots of fun and the joy of the beautiful decorations at your house will shimmer and shine and delight you once again. Silver and are my gold friend! You are the Goddess of the Endless Summer. Christmas decorating in flip-flops?
Sounds good to me!
Buy cookies!

NatureWoman said...

I love lights and sparkling things this time of year, but it *is* tons of work! I was thinking about you tonight and almost whipped out my camera when it took me 1.5 hours to get home when it normally takes me 20 to 30 minutes - all due to some snow. I'm sure you don't miss those days!
Cool on the pishing! I'm going to have to try it!!

KGMom said...

This is a conflicted time of year, isn't it. So much to do, so many places to go. Pressure, pressure.
But also it is a time filled with wonderful memories.
May the peace of the season descend on you!

Susan Gets Native said...

Being a Grinch isn't a crime. You can't help how you feel.
But you will snap out of it....imagine seeing Gina's new house all decked out and her first "real house Christmas" tree.
*and to comment on your comment on my post ARE a birder.

Naturegirl said...

Mary Mary you must come here to my part of the globe and you will
(((freeze)))..getting the lights up the tree picked loaded ontop of the car..feed the birds slippers feet get ((((COLD))) ...Christmas is in your heart..let it out...bake some cookies...Put some simmering spices on the and cinnamon..
Your tree looks so glitter and nice!!
I will provide you with snow on my blog dear mary! hugs &..jingle jingle ..Joy!! aNNa

Mary said...

Hi Mary,
How are you today!
I'm feeling a little better today!
I posted more picture of my boston max and our first boston Pewee.
It's nice and cool here in Florida.
I like it here this time of year but it's really dry here.

Annie in Austin said...

The pishing is so cool! I have to try it here, Mary - maybe a bird would sit still long enough for me to catch a photo.

Just because you don't feel like doing everything just the same doesn't mean you're a Grinch - we have to keep changing, it's a law of life.

Down here we can't count on cold weather to activate Christmas spirit rither - the day we put up the outside lights it was over 70 degrees F and the ice cream truck going past was very tempting!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

kate said...

And here I sit waiting until it is warmer so I can put the outdoor lights on. It has to warm up sometime before Christmas! If it doesn't, I'll happily play Grinch. This is supposed to be a colder-than-usual winter, so Grinch-like might be just fine!

Larry said...

Dogs didn't like the pishing eh?I actually pish to call my cat-works like a charm.