When it comes to holiday traditions in Marshall, The Grinch is stealing the show. We all know that by the end of the classic Dr. Seuss tale The Grinch's heart grew to a normal size, but before that, he was stricken with one that was two sizes too small. And it was during that time that he stalked a small town from afar as he plotted to steal its Christmas spirit.
If you ask those involved with the Lyon County Museum, the Grinch must be lurking somewhere near the city of Marshall this year.
For the first time in 20 years, the museum's Holiday Home Tour will not be taking place this year. And for the second year in a row, there won't be a Christmas Tree Walk at the park in downtown Marshall.
The former is the biggest loss for the museum, as the holiday home tour is annually its biggest fundraiser. Last year, about $3,500 was raised - a giant leap from previous years. The money goes to many different things: the building fund, as the museum continues to look for a permanent home in Marshall; salaries, which are few; and expenses - keeping the lights on.
"We struggle every month to pay rent, just like every non-profit," said Jan Maeyaert-Hansen of the museum. "This year, we're way behind on our funds. We have a new board as of this past year and we're working together to find new fundraisers, working together to make the public aware of our museum, trying to get people interested, to become members."
The museum has already decked most of its halls, not just to spread a little Christmas spirit, but also to draw people's attention to its new location (it moved from the Knights of Columbus building to Main Street last summer). Another reason for all the decorations this year is a big open house planned for Monday that will include a silent auction of an eight-course dinner - one of the smaller fundraisers Maeyaert-Hansen spoke about to help offset the loss of funds that would've been brought in from the Holiday Home Tour and Christmas Tree walk.
"This is the first year we've decorated the museum to show us off and show the community that we are a vital part of Main Street. If you haven't visited before we'd love to have you come in; we'll have cookies and cider as a way to thank the public for supporting us in the past."
Maeyaert-Hansen doesn't want to lay blame on anyone for the cancellation of these traditional December fundraisers but fears the community might be losing a bit of its holiday spirit, some of its tradition, and, in turn, the museum has for now lost out on the chance to improve its financial status.
"Maybe we have to remind ourselves to sometimes take a step back and relive some things to keep the spirit of giving alive," she said. "I know we all get too busy, but "
As the county seat, Marshall has long been a community that prides itself on its giving spirit, and we hope that spirit returns in full force - not only in Marshall, but throughout the county - because no one likes a Grinch.