Trading the Grinch for a little ho, ho, ho } Craig Groshart | Editor's Note

The Christmas season traditionally has been a “bah-humbug” time for me. Maybe it’s the extra “pressure” of trying to find the “right” gift or that I spend more time in the malls for the requisite shopping than I do celebrating the season with friends and family. It also hasn’t helped that putting up outdoor Christmas lights is a battle I always lose with the roof.

Whatever the reason, it’s made December a month I wanted to avoid.

It hasn’t helped that for the past two decades or so, my wife and I have driven down to the Portland area to deliver gifts to family. Too often the trips have turned into a long slog as we get hammered by the winter weather that always seems to show up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We’ve endured heavy rain on many trips, snow on others and even one night of freezing rain as a storm blew through the Columbia Gorge. That resulted in a white-knuckled, two-hour ordeal just to get from Sandy, Ore., to a few miles north of Vancouver where the weather mercifully released its grip. We still shudder when we tell the tale.

So, to say I was surprised by our trip last weekend would be a huge understatement. The weather was cold, of course, but the sun almost made it look like summer and the traffic was unbelievably light. There was nary a raindrop in sight.

Without the worry of the weather, the visit became a fun-filled trip, including meals at the family farm and later at a restaurant where we treated for dinner. Even our good deed of buying evergreen swags and wreaths on Sunday’s drive home continued the ideal traffic conditions all the way to our garage.

The good feelings have continued since our return. My wife and I are limiting our mall foraging to brief excursions and I actually got the outdoor Christmas lights up before it rained and did it with little, if any, screaming.

So, are my Grinch-like days over? Maybe so. I recently caught myself saying “ho, ho, ho.”


– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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