I must admit I have always been a little on the Grinchy side. Well, at least until about eight years ago.
Every year, I would break out what always seemed like a ridiculous amount of Christmas decor and transform the Jenkins' house into a Christmas wonderland.
A tiny little village my sister painted to perfection - Santa's workshop, the North Pole Post Office, the barn that houses the magical reindeer, trees and tiny little carolers, travelers and even a priest. We're not Catholic, but apparently the villagers are. And don't forget the snow. Lots of snow that always seems to end up on the carpet and never where it belonged near the reindeer barn.
The snowman village, dozens of Frosty inspired creatures of every size; Santas from around the world, Mexico, the Netherlands; and memories from my childhood. Every year offered a reminder of the last - more decor, gifts given to my mother. Everyone knows she wants the whole display to put the Griswolds to shame, so Christmas decor is apparently the perfect Christmas gift. I am pretty sure I frowned a time or two when she opened a gift to show off another addition to the annual duty.
But my true Grinchiness always made an appearance in the beginning of the decorating chaos - as the boxes upon boxes of decor made the descent from the attic. I'm afraid of heights and also believe too much of a good thing can be bad.
This year, I was working when the decor made its way down the ladder and went up the day after Thanksgiving. I almost shocked myself - I was sad to be missing out on the ritual. My father took on the duty of transforming the outside of the house. In a neighborhood where the perfect strands of white lights lining houses makes it look a bit like a scene out of the Stepford Wives, I can proudly say my father's work is more reminiscent of Candy Land.
My daughter - the killer of the Grinch within me - and my nieces decorated the tree and decked the halls.
But mom made them save one thing for me and my daughter - the village with its tiny priest. It has become our ritual - assembling the village, giving the villagers light to see by, showering a blizzard down on them - and the carpet. We have a story for each villager - who they are, where they came from and where they go at the end of the season. Santa is there but the reindeer are staying warm in the barn, resting for the big night. The elves, those poor elves are toiling away.
Traditions are what make the holiday season so grand. I am only sorry it took having a child of my own to understand that - I no doubt spoiled a lot of the fun for my mom as I griped about the duty over the years. Sorry mom.
And this year, a new tradition was born for this former Grinch. For the first time in many years, my daughter and I had a second home to decorate - our own - right here in Glen Rose.
We baked cookies as we do every year, and a few new traditions were born. We have two trees - one that has sat in storage while my parents' tree served as our own. It is decorated in gold and maroon - note the hint of Southwest Texas State University pride. That one is a little too stuffy and traditional according to my daughter. Me? Stuffy and traditional…
To christen the new home, Amara picked out the decor for the second tree - teal and turquoise, purple and pink, peace signs, dragonflies and butterflies. It's perfect. I'm not sure if her eight-year-old brain can fathom what it all means to me - we are finally spreading our wings, making it on our own.. talk about peace and joy.
We might not have much, but together we have a lot. It's not what's under the tree but what it's built on that really matters.
Amanda Kimble is the editor of the Glen Rose Reporter she can be reached at (254) 897-2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org