It’s no secret that the Grinch is my Christmas Spirit doppelgänger. Cuddly as a cactus? Check. Heart an empty hole? Done. Garlic in my soul? I don’t entirely understand what that means, but it doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.
I don’t love how he treats his dog, but I find it perfectly acceptable that he wants to be left alone in his little abode and doesn’t want to listen to that incessant singing of those little punks down in that town. Maybe he just wants some sleep after a long week, ok? Leave him alone.
In my old apartment, a girl used to sing, loudly and terribly all day long on weekends. One day I broke down and banged on the wall and yelled “you suck!” as loudly as I could. The music turned off instantly. She can sing if she wants to, but I don’t ever want to hear what is happening in my neighbors apartments while I am relaxing in mine.
I have a friend who told me “non-Macy’s” Carly loves things that “Macy’s” Carly loathed, which is true. Since I left retail, I may or may not have Harry Connick Jr Christmas Pandora station. Whereas being forced to listen to it months prior to when the holiday actually started ruined it for me while I was at Macy’s. I knew every time I heard “Jingle Bell Rock” I was one step closer to punching someone in the throat, which doesn’t make for great customer service.
So while I’ve lightened up a bit, my behavior shouldn’t have been shocking when I saw my first Seattle snowfall. People ran into the road, looking into the sky, wondering what this white powder was falling to the earth. They made snowballs and wandered through the streets looking around with amazement.
I looked out the window and said, “What the fuck?” Part of the perk of moving to Seattle was that I wouldn’t have to put up with this white death trap any more. And why was it suddenly acceptable to run into the streets like a lemming as if cars weren’t still on the road?
I cursed as I walked out of the bar I was at while listening to people talk about how pretty it was. I was confident none of them had been in a car accident in the snow, nor had to scrape the ice off of their windshield every morning at 2am before heading to work.
The next day, I put on a pair of boots with heels and headed to a coffee shop before work. As I walked uphill through last night’s snow, which was now essentially only slush, I watched as people struggled to make the trek.
I passed a girl who was cautiously stepping as if she would fall down. She stopped and stared as I walked past her in my heels. Heels themselves feel out of place here, much less in the snow? I was officially making myself a freak of nature. She stopped and looked at my shoes and shook her head. I wanted to say, “Watch how it’s done. I’m an old pro when it comes to snow, and this is nothing.”
Eventually the Grinch’s heart grew (spoiler alert), and mine usually does by the end of the season too, but when I got home and decided to crank up my heat only to discover it wasn’t hooked up properly, I grumbled to myself and added an extra blanket to my bed.
So I did the only thing I knew how, went out into the city to try and find my Christmas spirit. I went to see the Nutcracker, which was a good bet because I always love some Tchaikovsky. I walked Green Lake when it was lit up by lanterns and had carolers.
I screamed as a raccoon the size of a dog ran across the road and waddled toward me as if it was overexposed to human contact and wouldn’t mind messing me up and giving me rabies if he needed to. Thankfully he turned away, but the whole lantern walk I was jumpy and kept thinking I saw its beady eyes peeking out from behind the trees in the pitch black.
I even wore my Walking Dead Darryl Dixon Christmas sweater under my jacket. Maybe that was because I didn’t do laundry soon enough and because it’s warm, but I’ll add it to the attempted Christmas Spirit list.
But I wasn’t feeling it. Then I woke up and thought of everything else I’ve got to do this month. I am lucky enough to get home for Christmas and see my friends and family again, even though I was just back for Thanksgiving. I had tickets to an upcoming Stevie Nicks concert. Santa Con, my favorite Seattle holiday tradition, was coming up.
Plus I got together with some friends and had some laughs and remembered what the secret was: spending time with good people, friends and family, who actually have good spirits to the level it is contagious. The holidays for me are about the appreciation of great people that I’ve got in my life.
Maybe I’m not a fan of the snow and maybe I’m not great in cold weather (especially when I don’t expect it), but I know soon enough the day will come where it hits me like it does every year, and my heart will grow three sizes that day.