• alyssa conlee

why i'm grinchy

I’ve gained a bit of a reputation. (I’ll try be less dramatic about it than some unnamed pop artists though.)

Many people have accused me of being Grinch-like over the years. So many, I’ve lost count.

While it bothered me at first, I eventually embraced it.

me, embracing my inner grinch

This year, I started asking myself the hard questions. The intention of this post is to answer those questions in a public space for all of you who have also asked why I am the way that I am. Sit tight, this may be a wild ride.

How did I earn this title?

I started easy.

My dislike of excessive Christmas music definitely earned me the title.

There are two reasons that I am instinctively opposed to the open acceptance of Christmas music:

  • They start playing it way too early. “They” meaning stores, radio stations, friends, etc.. Before Thanksgiving? Before Halloween?? Where is the line drawn?

  • Much of the noise that fills a typical holiday playlist would not be considered good music any other time of the year.

Now to address these two points.

Christmas music, as a genre, is there to represent a specific season. Winter. (And a specific holiday, obviously.) Supposing all Christmas music was good music (more on that in a moment), there is such thing as too much of a good thing. I find it extremely easy to get tired of a genre, especially if a genre is represented by the same 30 songs repeated over and over. This is why I listen to many types of music and different artists throughout the year—variety. It’s also true for the holiday season, because I want more variety than the Christmas radio is willing to give me. So, if nothing else, can we please agree to limit the length of time that Christmas music is socially acceptable? Thanks.

On to the issue of quality. Why must we lower our standards for this particular season? Example/sub-complaint: jingle bells. Why is this the instrument (I use this term lightly here) that we’ve chosen to represent Christmas?? I have the same objection toward the Christian music/media genres. We rally up in support of something (whether it’s Christmas music or Christian artists) just because they fall under a certain label. I once decided that I would hold all music to the same standard— it has helped me to filter out all the music that I find less than enjoyable. Hence why I have become more particular about the Christmas music I listen to.


So, I’m a bit choosy about music. But do I relate to the Grinch otherwise? Well, assuming we’re talking about Jim Carrey's Grinch here…

I spend much of my time alone,

but am not opposed to the occasional outing.

My schedule is always full,

but I’m not immune to boredom.

And of course when I do go out, I can never find anything I want to wear.

But I don’t think I’m alone in any of these things.

So what about his most distinguishable trait? Do I actually loathe Christmas?

Well, my answer for this can be found in the same movie, just voiced by a cute little girl with braids.

“It’s just— look around at you and mom and everyone getting all kerbobbled. Doesn’t this seem… superfluous?” -Cindy Lou Who

I don’t hate Christmas. I just hate the materialistic focus and greedy tendencies that now accompany it. It’s not a bad thing to give gifts to one another. But when gifts become the focus of the season, they bring stress instead of joy!

What about when I'm enjoying the holiday?

The past few weeks, I’ve really been enjoying the Christmas season. I’ve turned on my favorite Christmas album, baked holiday treats, and put time and effort into getting the perfect gifts for my family and friends.

But do I still feel Grinchy?

I contemplated this for quite some time, and came to the conclusion that yes, I do. The difference now is that I’m at the end of the movie, when all of the Whos realize that they had turned Christmas into something it shouldn’t be. I’m the Grinch that’s holding hands around the Christmas tree, singing those blasted Christmas songs. 

I’ve been enjoying Christmas because I see the love that God showed by sending His Son to earth, and the love that His children show to one another in remembrance of His sacrifice.

To all of you: I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas, and remember Christ in this beautifully chaotic time.

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