December 12, 2012

The Grinch and me

"Pooh-pooh to the Who's!" he was grinchily humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!  They're just waking up.  I know just what they'll do.  Their mouths will hang open just a minute or two, then the Who's down in Whoville will all cry boo-hoo!"

"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch...."That I simply must hear!"

So he paused - and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.  And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.  It started in low...then it started to grow.


But this....this sound wasn't sad.  Why....this sounded glad.  Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all! He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming.  It came!  Somehow or other, it came just the same.

"How could it be so?  It came without ribbons! came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!"

He puzzled and puzzled 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.

Excerpts from Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Since I was a little girl this has been one of my most favorite Christmas stories.  I've watched it every year, and to be honest, I prefer the old cartoon version over the newer movie that was made.  Of course my most favorite part is the end, when the mean ol' Grinch waits expectantly to hear the anger and sadness of the Who's, and instead he hears their sweet song rising through the air and it takes him completely by surprise.  Not only do the Who's celebrate Christmas' arrival regardless of what was taken from them, but their response and ability to celebrate in their loss changes the heart of the Grinch.

I remember wondering if I could sing such a song if that happened to me.  If someone stole my Christmas and my gifts and tried to rob me of all cheer.  Could I be like the Who's on Christmas morning?

I confessed to Todd last night that Christmas doesn't feel so Christmasy because of the lack of presents.  Because we are scraping together a few gifts for Tommy and won't be buying anything else for anyone else and it feels hard when I so love the gift-buying part of the holiday.  And we know that we won't be receiving anything from parents or family either because of other reasons or circumstances.  I admitted that it felt hard and that I liked getting presents and I was feeling very selfish and horrible because I really enjoyed getting gifts as much as I do.

As I confessed what was in my heart, I was reminded of the Who's and one of my favorite Christmas stories.  And it echoed in my soul, that familiar line that finally caused the Grinch to feel something in his heart.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

This Christmas will most definitely be coming without ribbons or tags, boxes or bags.  And once again I'm seeing where God has invited me to consider Christmas outside of what I've been so used to.  Quiet and slow-paced.  Not full of presents and STUFF.

And where will my heart be?  What will I be singing come Christmas morning when it comes just the same?


  1. Christmas is going to be strange here this year as well. My roommate decorated while I was gone and when I asked if I could add some ornaments to her tree, she suggested that I put up my tree as well. So apparently no (she does the all matchy ball ornament tree) and it doesn't seem worthwhile to unpack a second tree. And while it'll be nice to not travel, it's going to be strange to spend actual Christmas with our parents and not my siblings or nieces and nephews. But next year, we'll have our own home (wherever and whatever that might be) that I can decorate. And Raj and I will be together, which isn't something that'll always happen for us.

    On a side note, I also love this version of the Grinch and one of my all time favorite phrases comes from the song: "all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile". Perfect.

  2. I love the old version of the Grinch too.

    Sometimes it is hard to have things different than what we are use to. I just hope that this Christmas surprises you and it is the best one to date. Thinking of you.