December Is The New Spring

December 17, 2015 | By | Comments (9)

Photo: Steve Bender

I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s the middle of December. It should be windy, raining, cold, and altogether miserable. This is how we spend the holidays in central Alabama. Instead, we’re dining al fresco and walking barefoot. And as you can see from the photo of my rhododendron above, plants are partying like it’s spring break at South Beach.

My ‘Yuletide’ and ‘Kramer’s Supreme’ camellias are blooming too. So are my Christmas rose, Lenten rose, and ‘Coral Bells’ azalea. Paper bush is ready to pop and tulip foliage is already poking up from below. Nowhere do I see a hint of utter desolation. This is quite disturbing.

Every bloom that opens prematurely now means one less flower we’ll see in spring. How will we replace the happiness their color brings? By leaving up Christmas lights through June? One of my neighbors already does this and everyone thinks she’s weird. Maybe she’s just ahead of her time.

Global warming is clearly the culprit; we have only ourselves to blame. You see, every time you and I breathe out, we exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide rises up into our atmosphere and lets in the sun’s heat, but prevents its escape. And more and more people exhale every year. It’s a worldwide addiction that’s killing the real spring.

Photo: copyeditingcom

One little typo doesn’t diminish the message. Photo:

But there’s still time to save the daffodils of March, the cherries of April, and the peonies of May. Hold your breath. You, me, all of us. If every one of the Earth’s seven billion people will make that simple commitment, we can make December as bleak and depressing as we always remember it.


It’s up to you. Photo:

Take the pledge. Hold your breath. Start at five seconds. Then hold it for ten. Go for half a minute. Before you know it, you’ll be up to a full 60 seconds. Once you cross the one minute barrier, your momentum will be unstoppable. And one by one, million by million, we’ll make the world colder. As December becomes devoid of exhalation, premature blooms will be no more.

What a grand month that will be.


Photo: streets of

Happy Holidays from Grumpy! Love You Guys!



  1. Cassandra Collins

    Man, can’t y’all tell tongue-in-cheek when you read it!

    December 23, 2015 at 8:15 pm
  2. Cheryl Keller

    Here in Coastal Mississippi the azaleas are blooming. I am concerned that they will not bloom in Spring this year.

    December 21, 2015 at 11:48 am
  3. Colin M

    Hey Grumpy, It’s not much different up here in the normally-frozen north. The geraniums in my window boxes are still blooming (because they were sheltered from the frost), and the chrysanthemum on my steps is showing new green shoots. Normally, that would be toast at this point in the year. The weatherman is spreading wild rumors that there may be snow tonight, so this may bring our extended summer to an end. Secretly, I was hoping that the geraniums might make it through Christmas. We’ll see.

    December 18, 2015 at 9:01 am
  4. Brynn

    Happy holidays to you, Grumpy!
    We have cherry/plums blooming right now, but they’re the only things I’ve seen blooming off-season this year, so far anyway. They’re quite cheerful in this gloomy weather we’ve been having! And if they do what they did last year, they’ll bloom again in spring too. A two for one deal!

    December 18, 2015 at 6:20 am
  5. emr153

    Can I breathe, now? I believe it’s el Nino!

    December 17, 2015 at 10:08 pm
  6. James Osier

    You can say nothing and be thought a fool or speak and remove all doubt.

    December 17, 2015 at 4:23 pm
  7. Cristy Giddens

    Good grief Grumpy, I can’t believe you can buy into the global warming hoax. Do you think that’s the cause of terrorism too? I’m several years older than you and can recall Christmases when it was in the 70s and Christmases when it would snow. Get you some bulbs and refrigerate them for early spring if you must but rest assured the world will continue to turn.

    December 17, 2015 at 10:24 am
  8. Helen

    Love your column but would humbly request that you include botanical name of plants for those of us not familiar with the common names and new to the south. Thank you

    December 17, 2015 at 9:54 am
  9. Kathleen

    Thank goodness. I was afraid at first I was going to be preached at.

    December 17, 2015 at 9:43 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s