Normally Heather is the Christmas fanatic in our home, but since she hasn’t felt very well this season she’s lacked her usual, Buddy the Elf-esque enthusiasm. In the past I would have been just fine with that, but not this year when Annie is falling in love with Christmas right in front of my eyes. For the kid’s sake I’ve tried to pick up the Christmas slack and found – lo and behold – that I might have an inner Christmas fanatic after all!

Last week, when I brought our Christmas decorations out of storage, the first thing I spotted was our Elf on the Shelf.

“Let me guess,” I said, bemused. “You’re going to make us do this, aren’t you?”

To my surprise Heather said that she didn’t think she had it in her to move the little guy every night what with all of her nausea. I should have been relieved, but instead of stuffing the elf back into the box I told Heather I would assume all elf related duties.

“Really?” Heather said, shocked. “You know you can’t forget to move it.”

“It’s not a problem,” I said, suddenly worried, but I’ve actually managed to pull it off thus far.

And this starts...

Annie named the elf “Georgie” (after her crush, Tara’s son), and I’ve not only moved him every night (thanks to nightly alarm reminders from my iPhone), but grown to love the little fella. In the morning Annie runs around looking for Georgie, and I have to say, it’s kind of awesome. When I told Heather how much I was digging it she smiled and said, “Aww, Mike. Did the Grinch’s heart grow?”

I laughed it off, but maybe my heart did grow. The last time I was at the store I bought a carton of egg nog (which even Heather hates), and then, while in line at checkout, absentmindedly picked up a Justin Bieber Christmas album off the rack. That’s when the old, Grinch-like Mike, and new, Christmas-y Mike went at each other.

Grinch Mike: “Dude, did you just pick up a Justin Bieber album?

Christmas Mike: “No, I just… I was just curious what songs he did.”

Grinch Mike: “You care what songs Justin Bieber sings?”

Christmas Mike: “No! Not normally! Just for Christmas!”

Grinch Mike: “Riiiight. Sounds to me like if he sang a song you liked you might buy the album.”

Christmas Mike: “That’s preposterous. There’s no Christmas song in the world he could sing that… wait… does he do “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire?”

Grinch Mike: “Yup. As a duet with Usher.”

Christmas Mike: “Really? The Beebs sings with Usher? Intriguing.”

Grinch Mike: “What happened to you, man?”

Perhaps the biggest sign of my going over the edge is my deciding yesterday that I want to put an inflatable in our front yard like I’m Clark Griswold.

“You don’t think they’re cheesy?” Heather asked.

“Not at all! Annie will love it!”

“Alright. But I don’t know when I’ll feel up to going to get one, so you’ll have to wait until -”

“I’ll go myself tomorrow,” I blurted out. “What do you think? Maybe a giant Santa in a sleigh?”

Heather stared at me a long time, then asked, “What happened to you?”

Honestly, I don’t know anymore.

I have a feeling that when Heather feels better next year she’ll go back to being the Christmas crazed one, but until then I’ve got the fever. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get so bad that I’m blasting Bieber while blowing up a gigantic Santa Clause inflatable.