A Lesson on the True Meaning of Christmas… from the Grinch

Do you remember the children’s story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss? We’ve all heard the funny story about a grumpy green guy who hated Christmas and everything to do with it, but there’s actually a lot we can learn from this silly children’s book.

The Grinch thinks that he can stop Christmas from coming when he goes throughout town stealing every last present, decoration, Christmas tree, light, and dessert. He takes their feasts and their gifts and their garlands. Then on Christmas morning, when he hears the Whos singing Christmas carols together down in Whoville, he doesn’t understand how it could be so. Didn’t he stop Christmas altogether?

Glen Lewerenz shared this reflection from How the Grinch Stole Christmas on a recent episode of Glen’s Story Corner:

“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 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. And what happened then? Well in Whoville, they say, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.”

Though of course we know that Christmas isn’t purchased or wrapped up, this is a good reminder as we approach the season of Christmas that all of the things we’ve been focused on—cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, buying, wrapping, and mailing—while they aren’t bad things, they really don’t make Christmas what it is.

child and grandparent hug and smile at ChristmasChristmas is first and foremost a celebration of God’s Son coming into the world. It’s a time of joy and love and laughter. It calls us to think about more than ourselves, more than the perfect gift or decorating the most beautiful tree. It’s about celebrating Christ’s incarnation by spreading His light in the world.

This Christmas, take time to slow down. Take a breath and reflect on the immense joy and beauty that this season brings, and then think of ways you can spread that to others beyond your small circle of close family and friends. How might your family be a blessing to those in need, to someone who is lonely or ill, to those grieving the loss of a loved one or suffering from unemployment this year? And who knows, maybe there’s a ‘Grinch’ out there who will be moved by your love and generosity to understand what Christmas is all about.

Glen reminds us where gifts really come from in James 1:17:

“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.”

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.