My Christmas Story (with apologies to Dr. Suess)

It is time to tell the story not oft told…mostly to youngsters not yet too old…Now there are stories as to how I got this gait, it happened a Christmas night so late

Some think I fell from my roof putting up Christmas lights, and that is somewhat true, and now the real story I will relate to you…

It was Christmas Eve, that very special night and I never thought it would be an eve of fright and fight.

Our family had returned from the Midnight Mass and sat to enjoy chocolate milk and sweets.  The moon beams bounced on a fresh fallen Christmas snow in rhythm with the childrens’ heart beats.

The homes of our neighborhood were cloaked in lights of many colors: a suburban aurora borealis.  The lights reflected and danced with the moonbeams in a way I not before seen.  It was indeed an air filled with magic and hope, if you know what I mean.

They were hung from roof lines, they were wrapped around porch pillars and they were hung from trees.  Some light strands were white, others were mixed colors, others flashed on and off much to my delight.

The lights are for more than decoration you know.  Yes, they do help to guide Santa Claus on his late night route, with his booming “HO HO HO.”

The lights are a sign of celebration -Indeed, a wonderous signification.

They remind us to celebrate the birth of God’s own Son, the Blessed One.

It was with this thought that we passed the creche in the living room, looking at the little one in His manger so low, knowing that His love, like those outside lights, will for us shine and glow.

Up the stairs we trudged after our long day, and to bed we went with no more delay.  Now, I think it is was two, or maybe it was three, could have even been four, when I heard a clanking noise on the house and I ran downstairs to the front door.

I was dressed in my favorite un-matching pajamas of blue plaid.  To my surprise and shock, the lights were gone from around our block – they had been had.  Not a sparkle, not a glint, not a twinkle was there.  How could this happen, how could this occur? It was as if a dark blanket had been spread – I could not get the scene through my head.

I did not like this, no, not one bit.  In this neighborhood now dark, I realized that on our little cul-de-sac, our house was the only one still lit.

I heard the clanging noise again and there he was with that snarly green grin. It was a site that caused me some confusion- a figment of of Dr. Seuss gave my brain sone diffusion.  He had a coat of green and red glowing eyes ever so mean. Yes, it was the Grinch – he looked straight at me with nary a flinch.

He snorted rather loud and in a haughty voice he said, “Your lights must go. This Christmas stuff is so last century, don’t you know?”  I was still somewhat stunned and taken aback – that I just could not believe that rude last crack.

“Oh no, that’s not true you evil Grinch, I just bought them today,” I retorted with a bite.  “The spirit of Christmas is so much more than just this light.  It is tie to which many of us bond and bind.  It will be with us till the end of time.”

“So says you,” says he, and as quick as a poof, up the ladder he scampered to the top of my roof.

Now, I have a fear of being up on such a height, but something stirred inside me and said, “Not this night.”

After him I chased and up the ladder I flew with a speed I never knew.  He was crouched down unclipping the lights from the roof’s edge.  I told him, “Stand away you grinch or I’ll throw you down into that hedge.”

He slowly turned as if he was bored, and spat, “Really.”  He dropped the strand of colored lights and slowly at me he came toward.

We grabbed at each other like those wrestlers on TV.  I became exasperated when I realized that my left arm was being bit!!!  I yelled out in pain and smacked him upside his little brain with a right hand hit.

We tussled and banged and smacked around some more – trading blows back and forth, all the while he did roar.

With every moment we moved moving closer to the edge and remembered my threat to throw him down to the hedge:  He moved his arm and took a misstep.  I reached low, picked him up, to give him a flip.  But lo, on my collar he had a firm grip and now my feet began to slip.

Over the edge we tumbled and fell.  On the ground we landed with a thud and I heard a loud snap and I let out a loud yell.

By now the commotion had woken my wife, family and neighbors, I think about three.

They looked out their windows to see me on the ground still wrestling with that creature in green – something they too were not sure they had really seen.

The Grinch somehow got up and ran away.  Some folks deny ever seeing him to this very day.  I tried to stand but found I could not. I was in a pickle, I was in a spot.

The Grinch in all of his his green skin so vile, jumped up and ran away, I imagine for a long long while.

Well, that is the story of my broken leg — the truth which like a hat, can be hung on a peg.  I took one for the team as they say, protecting the lights very early one Christmas day.

©Charley Bowman December 2012

Okay, I did not fall from my roof, nor did I break my leg.  I was up on the peak of my roof putting up Christmas lights on the peak of the roof when one of my older neighbors walked across the cup-de-sac and told me to come down from the peak so that I would not fall and break my leg.  Then it occurred to me that had I gotten the lights up AND had fallen, what a story I could spin!!   So there you have it!  Have a Merry Christmas!


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