You will find my sibling's posts about A Christmas Carol by Raymond Pert here and Inland Empire Girl here.
My book that I am choosing How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
As I thought about this book, and read it aloud this morning to my two dogs, it got me thinking about a post that has been rattling around in my head for about a week. My friend Beez over at Blog My Rabbit wrote a post called Bah, Humbug! .
His post reflects on the struggles he has with the Christmas season, and the expectations that come with this time of year. I encourage you to read this thoughtful post he wrote. You can tell it comes straight from his heart, and I am sure it will get you thinking about your Christmas beliefs, as it did me.
I love Christmas. To me, it is, and has always been a very special time of year. And, as a Christian, the celebration of Jesus' birth is an important part of this time of year, but I don't think that is the most important part for me. Because Jesus' is a part of my life every day of the year. I don't need a special day to commemorate his birth. I celebrate Him each and every day through my personal relationship with Him. I enjoy focusing on Jesus' birth, but I don't think that is the only reason I enjoy this time.
When I really think about it, I believe it is all the traditions and special time with family and friends that go along with this time of year. I was fortunate to have a family who had many traditions growing up. Some of these traditions tied us to our past, and some my parents started on their own. Now my family has started some of our own traditions that we carry on each year.
It is these things that I enjoy about Christmas. Some has to do with putting up decorations, especially the ornaments on the tree, and remembering the stories behind certain ornaments. And looking at my Mom's ornaments on her tree, and seeing the same ornaments hanging on the tree that were there my first Christmas back in 1963.
My family started our own tradition back in 1990, the year The Princess was born. On Christmas Eve, we would pick a country and prepare food from that country, research about their Christmas traditions, and sometimes incorporate some of those traditions into our own.
This year we have chosen several countries from the continent of Africa, including Morocco, Kenya and Ghana. (I will share more about our dinner later). Past countries include England, Germany, Greece, Russia, Thailand, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico, Italy and a Native American feast.
And all these traditions help build family memories, which are very important. Yesterday the girls hauled out old home movies, and the Ghost of Christmas Past visited us as we watched past Christmas celebrations, some in Glendive, some in Meridian, and some here in Kellogg.
And I can enjoy it, even if family is scattered all over the country. IEG and her husband will be in Washington, Raymond Pert will be in Oregon, and his wife and kids are gathered in New York. Our family along with my mom will gather here in Idaho. And even more family is gathered in Meridian.
So, how does this all tie into the book? The Grinch observed Christmas from the outside. To him, all he saw was the toys, and all he heard was the
noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
and he also didn't like it when
the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they'd feast! And they'd feast!
And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!
They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast
Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!
And THEN They's do something He liked least of all! Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing. They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!
So the Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea, and decided go steal Christmas from all the Whos by dressing up like Santa Claus and taking all their presents, decorations, trees, and food...
It was quarter past dawn... All the Whos, still a-bed, All the Whos, still a-snooze When he packed up his sled, Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings! The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
The Grinch thought by taking all these things, that he would stop Christmas from coming. He thought the noise he would hear that morning would be BOO-HOO!
So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. 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 is WAS merry! VERY! He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!
At that moment The Grinch realized Christmas meant more than just presents, and food and toys. And then the Grinch experienced a transformation..
And what happened then...? Well...in Who-ville they say That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sized that day! And the minute his heart didn't fell 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! And he... ...HE HIMSELF...! The Grinch carved the roast beast!
Christmas is about celebrating love, and relationships, and caring about one another. That is the final noise the Grinch heard that made his heart change.
And it is nice, if even for a brief time each year, that we take some time to focus and celebrate these things with one another. We take time to tell people thank you and it often gives us an excuse to let them know they are appreciated, something we often don't do the rest of the year. Christmastime almost gives us that excuse to do nice things...and changes our focus for a few brief moments.
My prayer is each and every one of you gets a chance for your heart to grow three sizes this holiday season because of the love and caring of those around you.
Because whether you believe in the baby born in the manger is real or not, the message proclaimed that day can live in all of our hearts each and every day...
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men".