The Grinch who inflated Christmas
My husband almost annihilated our eight-foot tall, plastic blow-up Grinch.It started innocently enough. A few weeks ago, a wave of Christmas cheer came over both of us (don’t you notice it comes in waves?) and we headed off in search of fun and well, yeah, tacky additions to our weird assortment of holiday decorations.We’ve got Evil Santa Head, which I’ve actually bothered to write about in this column in years past. It’s a large plastic head (think Wizard of Oz – no body, just a head) that used to be part of the store decorations at True Value in Glenwood. That’s until I spied many like it hanging high above the store aisles. They were perfect: retro circa 1960s/70s, and kind of scary (the rosy cheeks and red nose gave Santa kind of a W.C. Fields feel). “Do you have any more of these that you’d be willing to sell?” I asked. They pulled an extra one from the back, and $20 later he was mine.We’ve got other decorations too. My French-born brother-in-law gave me a stuffed-animal dog wearing a Santa hat that barks out, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Jingle Bells.” It’s really irritating but always a big hit at holiday parties. And we’ve got the three plastic choir boys that light up. I’m not sure where those guys came from, but no Christmas is complete without the little darlings. Back to the Grinch. During our wave of decoration hunting, we had to decide between an enormous plastic Abominable Snowman from the classic Burl Ives’ TV show, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and the Grinch. I was partial to A.S. – I’m embarrassed to admit that I was well into my teens before I realized that A.S. was not the Abdominal Snowman – but my husband Erik won out with the Grinch.On his next day off, Erik said he was going to set up the Grinch et al. He painstakingly untangled all the Christmas lights and attached them to the roof. He put Evil Santa Head up for all to see, then wrestled the Grinch on top of the roof. Then, as night started to fall, he threw the switch. Nobody lit up: not Santa, not the Christmas lights, not the Grinch. Suddenly, Erik wasn’t feeling so cheery. He stomped and swore and did more of the same. And when I pulled into our driveway that night, the Grinch was not only not lit up, he had fallen completely over and was on the roof.It was not the thing to tell Erik, which I discovered after I told him.What is it about holiday decorations that can infuriate us? It’s ironic that the time of year set aside to enjoy family and friends, and share good feelings can incite such stress.Remember this as you nervously do your last-minute shopping, or when you realize the cat has used your favorite tree ornament for batting practice and you find it broken in pieces on the floor. It’s not really about the shopping, and it’s not really about caring more for an old ornament than your own pet. It’s about being able to laugh at the Grinch because, after all, wrestling with a plastic Grinch on top of your roof is pretty funny – and funny, after all, is good.Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. She is happy to report the Grinch is now upright and fully operational. Her column appears in the Post Independent on Tuesdays. Carrie can be reached at 970-625-3245 ext. 101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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