When I was in third grade, I played the Grinch in my school play. My face was painted green and I wore a Santa suit most of the performance.
Don’t worry, I wasn't the Grinch because I hated Christmas. However, true to the Grinch’s character, I’ve come to enjoy certain elements of Christmas.
Around the same time I played the role of the Grinch, my parents would drive me and my sister through the Pepsi factory to see its Christmas light display. We drove very slowly, my sister and I swiveling our heads trying to see everything. Sometimes we had to drive through a second or third time.
My mom would always play her Ray Conniff Christmas CD. Needless to say, we’d sing along, and often dance, to almost every song.
These are just a couple of my favorite Christmas memories.
I moved to Boise seven years ago, and, in doing so, forgot the joys of Christmases past.
I honestly forgot that I liked to drive around and see Christmas light displays. In putting together the Christmas lights photo package, I was reminded how much I enjoyed just looking at Christmas lights throughout the community.
I forgot how fun it was to hear the countdown and see community Christmas trees lit. Camera pressed to my face, I held my breath in anticipation, not just for the shot, but, also, the exciting moment when the lights would go on and we’d cheer.
I forgot I liked to sing Christmas songs — though I blame retail employment for that one. Christmas songs in November … not OK in my book.
Most of all, I truly feel I forgot the Christmas spirit for awhile. I was reminded of this feeling by attending Kuna and Melba Christmas celebrations.
While I declined taking a selfie with Clyde the Camel in Melba, I certainly took one of my husband with Clyde. To close the festivities, I counted down with everyone else before the tree was lit.
Walking around Kuna, visiting the kids carnival, hungrily eyeing the decorated gingerbread men and cakes, I felt a calm contentment. Then, as the sky darkened, I could see the lights decorating parade floats and trees in Bernie Fisher Park. The light displays were stunning, and, even though relieved to get out of the cold, I was sad it was over so quickly.
Feeling the community come together, whether it was for holiday fundraisers like toy and shoe drives, or Christmas-themed activities, especially visiting Santa, I felt community love, and found joy in that. That, to me, is the spirit of Christmas, finding joy in love, no matter where it comes from.