I'm a traditional kind of guy, in that I absolutely refuse to start celebrating (or even recognizing) the Christmas season until I see Santa Claus roll down the street at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. With retailers and other muckity-mucks doing their best to cram Christmas further and further into November, that means that I can get pretty grouchy during the weeks preceding turkey day. I probably have this mindset because of a fairly recent family custom. When my grandmother was alive, she had her own apartment on the bottom level of our house. She would host Thanksgiving dinner, and then the grandchildren (with an assist from the older folks) would decorate her artificial Christmas tree while we listened to holiday music. Anyway, the leftovers are in the fridge and I'm ready to ramp up to my favorite holiday.
I'm not the only one who's getting in the Christmas spirit. Yesterday, Cal Ripken, Jr. dropped in at the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees fundraiser. The Orioles great read his favorite holiday story, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to a receptive audience. It's good to see Baltimore's most famous citizen still giving back to the community nearly a decade after ending his playing career. It's an excellent cause, by the way; the Institute serves children and adolescents who are suffering from disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord.
In case you're curious, I saw a brief video clip of Cal's foray into storytelling. I'm sorry to say that he didn't affect a scary voice for the Grinch. Perhaps he should have let Billy Ripken handle the Grinch dialogue.