I'm almost embarrassed to admit this at the age of 39, but one of my favorite Christmas shows is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I am an ardent fan of Dr. Seuss and am sad that my kids are now too old to give me an excuse to read his stories out loud. Besides the wonderful stories, I just love the rhythm of the words.
So, tonight, we were sitting around my in-laws' kitchen table playing a game, and the Grinch came on. Now, I am not talking about the Jim Carey movie, but the original animated version with Boris Karloff.
My mother-in-law had to keep saying, "It's your turn," because I was enthralled with the story.
If you're unfamiliar, the Grinch lives at the tip top of this mountain with his dog (who happens to be my favorite character in the story) and at Christmas, he is up there thinking very grinchy thoughts. He can hear the Whos down in Whoville getting ready and it's just driving him crazy - the thought of all the dinners and presents. The thing that bothers him the most, though, is their singing. They sing and sing and sing and their joy overflows, and since the Grinch has no joy, this is the most annoying thing of all to him.
So, he devises this plan to go in and steal Christmas. He goes down with a giant sleigh and does a reverse Santa - stealing food, decorations and presents.
The next morning, he expects to hear the wails and crying of the Whoville residents since he has stole their Christmas.
Instead, he hears them singing. The end of the story goes:
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then...?
Well...in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
The Grinch carved the roast beast!
I love this story because Christmas really IS more than presents and food and decorations. It's more than just a fuzzy feeling and a Hallmark celebration.
Christmas is ultimately about love. God's love for us. Sending His Son to earth to be a human baby - the Prince of heaven had only a animal food trough for his first bed. Love that caused heaven to come to earth in the form of Jesus.
Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the gifts, the great food, the pretty decorations and the warm, fuzzy feelings, but even if there was none of that, I'd still know I was loved because Jesus was sent not just for the world, but for me.
So, yes, Mr. Grinch - Christmas doesn't come from a store. It really does mean a whole lot more!
Merry Christmas - I hope you feel God's love for you today.
~ Blessings, Bronte