Grace Burrowes

Grace Impersonates the Bumble… by Grace Burrowes

by Grace Burrowes

It’s TWO DAYS before Christmas, Hanukkah is in full swing, and if you have time to read this, you’re either procrastinating last minute gift wrapping or you’ve developed the holiday adaptation for compulsive tendencies. Good on you, either way.

I like the holidays just fine. Beloved Offspring isn’t underfoot to supervise me, so I don’t have to get a tree, decorate, wrap presents, or otherwise crowd a goodly expanse of unstructured time with culturally mandated activities. Those activities were all well and good when I was parenting a minor child, but now I’m enjoying being in my prime, which often equates to being in my jammies during daylight hours.

Good on me.

What’s my favorite Christmas movie? The USA Today Happily Ever After blog asked this question of me not long ago (and we addressed it here as well), and I responded, “Rudolph.” From reading my books, you might think I have a thing for guys with unapologetic noses (I do) but the charm of that video for me has more to do with how no major character in the story fits in. Hermey wants to be a dentist, not a Christmas elf. The Bumble hates Christmas, and Rudolph—a herd animal trying to impress a dame—goes off into the great northern wilderness on an ill advised solitary pout.

Hermey and Rudolph come across what for me is the heart of the story, the Island of Misfit Toys. This collection of unfortunates includes a jack-in-the-box named Charlie, a spotted elephant, a train with square wheels, and other “misfit” toys who wait every Christmas for Santa to take them to children who would love them as they are, only to be disappointed, year after year.

Are you getting this?

We’re told Christmas is about tryptophan overload, gatherings of loved ones, and wishes coming true, but before we can appreciate any of that, we each of us have to visit the Island of Misfit Toys—maybe we even spend a few years there. Christmas  and Hanukkah aren’t events on the calendar. They’re the candle in the window when we’re ready to come back from our solitary pouts, the sound of jingle bells coming to our doorstep when we think Santa has flown over our island yet again, an invitation to open up a dentist’s shop at the North Pole. The presents, feasting and gathering are not the main event, they’re punctuation marks to the real punch line.

So here is my challenge to you: This Christmas, call upon your courageous, innocent heart and love a misfit toy, befriend the Abominable Snow Monster (aka the Bumble), go prospecting for peppermint, admire an unapologetic nose, and see a snowstorm as opportunity. Christmas isn’t a day of the year, it isn’t a feeling, it’s YOU and the love you have to give.

Merry Christmas!


18 Responses

  1. Livia Quinn Livia Quinn says:

    Beautiful, Grace. May this Christmas season bring peace for you and those in your care. Thank you for a year of wonderfully thoughtful posts.

  2. We’re all so busy this time of year that sometimes (okay, many times) we don’t take the time to wish the lady at the cash register a happy holiday. How many times have we walked past the bellringer and his bucket? Thanks for reminding us about what is truly important, Grace. Hope yours is blessed.

    • How many times have we wanted to take that bell from his or her gloved hand and do violence to it? Is it the spirit of Christmas when we give just to make the noise stop for a moment? Don’t think so.

  3. Pamela Mason says:

    My own Yukon Cornelius & I are going out to brave the cold & the Bumbles out there to bring home a Christmas ham & my Cookie standby, Slice&Bake.
    I will remember your message & try not to forget to be Christmas for the others elbowing me in the aisles.
    Have a good one Grace!

    • Pamela, may Christmas come to you and Yukon Cornelius on at least 400 different days in 2012, and may you find your Peppermint mine on the very first one… but did you EVER get that ring off?

  4. A beautiful post, Grace. And yes, I’m procrastinating, I only wish it were to avoid wrapping presents. Presents would be easy. Instead, I’m avoiding the big “W” and the blank page that’s been mocking me for the last few days.

    You’re right that we get so caught up in the holiday to-do list we sometimes overlook the whole reason we’re celebrating, the real spirit of the season. Thank you for reminding us, and may you have the lovliest and most peaceful of Christmases.

  5. Alix, that blank page has been leering at me for about six months, give or take–not a good feeling, though as one of my friends put it, “the guys down in the steam room” are still working, I know.

    I wanted not to exhort in this blog, but to empower. We ALL have Christmas right inside us, every day, every time we encounter another person, every time we look in the mirror. Generosity of spirit isn’t confined to a day or a season or a denomination, and that’s a wonderful thing.

  6. heather e says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you for the gift of your writing. I go back to The Heir again and again.

    Merry Christmas!

    • As flattered as I am to hear that, Heather, it does make me wonder why “The Solder,” “The Virtuoso” or “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” don’t speak to you in the same way. That Westhaven is a kinda serious…

      • heather e says:

        I love St. Just, Val, and Sophia, too. I don’t know what it is about Westhaven. I have re-read them all, though.

  7. Cathy Perkins Cathy Perkins says:

    I thought your post summed up the season beautifully – and then read your comment:

    Generosity of spirit isn’t confined to a day or a season or a denomination, and that’s a wonderful thing.

    It is indeed a wonderful thing.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. Sharon Wray Sharon Wray says:

    What a lovely Christmas present, Grace. Your posts are always so eloquent and beautiful. For some reason I’ve always preferred Advent and Lent to Christmas and Easter. Must be something about the wait and anticipation without the stress of the actual holidays. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

  9. Wonderful post, Grace. After a full DAY of last minute Christmas shopping that was supposed to be only 2-3 hours (did I mention the wheels came completely off the “being-organized bus” this year?), the minor feeling of a cold coming on, three hand-made projects yet to finish, and a pie to bake, your post brought it all back into perspective. I love when I remember to remember what the season is all about. Merry Christmas to you. Happy Hanukkah and Holidays to all. Here’s my toast to the Bumble in everyone!

    • I adore that image of the Bumble with his shiny star. His smile is exactly like my late mastiff’s. I wish I could figure a way to include him on my website, but he just doesn’t have that Regency feel… Maybe find him a top hat?

  10. Aretha zhen says:

    hi grace , thank you for this beautiful post. Just finished your first book the heir and I just want to let you know I was totally smitten w your book. Wish you all the best Grace!

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