“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe it means a little bit more.” ~ Dr. Seuss
One of my favorite short movies at Christmas time was The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It was, of course, from the story of the same title by Dr. Seuss. It is a marvelous tale of a curmudgeon who had no joy in his heart and, therefore, didn’t want anyone to have joy in their hearts. He especially had it out for the people of Whoville. Their seasonal singing bit him to the core and he wanted nothing more than to rob them of their joy.
We all know what he did. He sneaked into Whoville to steal all of the Christmas trappings: trees, garlands, ornaments, lights, gifts, and even their Christmas meal. On Christmas Day, he waited to hear cries of sorrow and exasperation. Instead, he heard the singing of Christmas songs. He came to an epiphany at that very moment that Christmas was more than all the trappings. Christmas was more, much more.
The joy of the day, encapsulated in song, changed him. He became a new man — okay, a new Grinch — and brought everything back to Whoville. The inhabitants invited him to stay for the Christmas meal and the Grinch was even given the privilege of carving the roast beast.
“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe it means a little bit more.” We begin the season of Advent today, a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. This season will be cluttered by many worldly preparations as well: purchasing gifts, decorating homes, baking goodies, sending Christmas cards, and the like. These worldly tasks can often rob us of the ability to prepare spiritually since they demand so much of our focus and time.
Don’t let the worldly preparation for Christmas sway your focus. It’s all right to do all the worldly preparation. Just keep in mind that the day is more than presents, baked goods, visits, and decorations. It is much more than that. It is about the birth of a Child, a very special Child, a Child who would change our future by restoring hope.
FAITH ACTION: If you have not done so already, fashion an Advent wreath for yourself so that you may prayerfully mark the passing of the days of Advent in preparation for Christmas.