A Very Grinchy Christmas
(Is.62:1-5; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Mt.1:18-25)
Merry Christmas! Today is such a special day. So many people are smiling and feeling good inside.
But what is Christmas all about? This is a good time to ask ourselves: What is Christmas all about?
When we look around our city, it’s easy to think that Christmas is all about gifts and Santa and fairy lights.
That’s what the Grinch thought. He hated Christmas. Have you seen the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas? [i] The Grinch is a green, hairy and cranky beast who lives on a rubbish dump called Mt. Crumpit, outside the town of Whoville.
Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot …
But the Grinch, who lived … just north of Whoville, did not!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
One night the Grinch decides to stop Christmas from coming to Whoville. He steals everyone’s Christmas gifts and things. He packs his sled up …
… with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
The Grinch laughs, and he expects everyone to be miserable when they wake up. But then he hears a sound …
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it was merry! Very!
He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
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! …
‘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!’
The Grinch feels all toasty inside and his heart starts to melt. He realises that the people of Whoville still care about Christmas, even without their Christmas things. Before, his heart was two times smaller. Now it’s three times bigger!
He decides to return all their Christmas things, and they have a happy Christmas after all. [ii]
Now, what about you? What does Christmas mean to you? Is it the presents, the ribbons, the colourful wrappings? Is it the tags, the tinsel, the trimmings and trappings?
Or does Christmas mean more than that?
Dr Seuss’ story of the Grinch has an important message for us. Christmas isn’t about the trimmings and the trappings. It’s not about the presents. These things are nice, but they’re not important.
As the Grinch says, many of those things will just end up on the rubbish dump, anyway.
Christmas is all about Jesus, the Son of God who is the source of all love. When Jesus was born, he didn’t need all the trimmings or trappings. All he had was Mary and Joseph, and they were really poor. But they were happy.
Remember that this Christmas. To be happy, all you need is your loving family, your friends – and Jesus.
So, make sure you invite Jesus into your home and hearts this Christmas Day.
And please ask him to stay,
for much more than a day.
why not invite him to stay forever!
[ii] Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. HarperCollins Children’s Books, London, 2010.