Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. During WW II, Geisel joined the army and was sent to Hollywood. Captain Geisel wrote for Frank Capra’s Signal Corps Unit and won Oscars for Hitler Lives and Design for Death. He also created a cartoon called Gerald McBoing-Boing which also won him an Oscar. In May of 1954, Life published a report concerning illiteracy among school children. The report said that children were having trouble reading because their books were boring. This inspired “Dr. Seuss”, as he became known, to write The Cat in the Hat, using 220 words. In 1960 someone bet him that he couldn’t write an entire book using only fifty words and the result was Green Eggs and Ham.
Dr. Seuss completed How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in 1957. The Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small,” lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, 3,000 foot high mountaijn just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is Max, his faithful dog. From his mountain, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Envious of the Whos’ happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and steal their Christmas presents and decorations and thus “prevent Christmas from coming”. However, he learns in the end that despite his success in taking all the Christmas things from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger, he returns all the presents and trimmings, and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
So how do we transform this to make it a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ?
Christmas transcends gifts and trees and stockings and credit card purchases. A Christmas without presents or decorations is still Christmas. No one can take away the fact that Christmas is God’s awesome statement to the world that He loves us.
We had a Christmas one year that we couldn’t afford presents. The message in the Grinch was very endearing to us that year…”It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” We put that quote on a pack of gum in each of their stockings. We had them pull it out and Josh read out loud the quote. Then we had each one pretend they were pulling something out of their stocking and tell us what it was. Then we had somewhat of an old fashioned Christmas as we roasted chestnuts on an open fire, made wassail, and the girls made clove orange pomander balls. We got out old toys, put together puzzles, played board games, and put together every lego model we have ever owned. That year Christmas was different from usual at our house, but we were glad to be together. And I was glad we had the opportunity to not be distracted by the gifts as we remembered the Reason for Christmas.
There were 3 Christmases that we lost family members but God sent us a song to help us focus on the fact that the coming of the Savior means that ‘man can live forevermore because of Christmas Day’ which means we will see those family members again.
Three years ago we were all together at the hospital for the birth of Henry David on Christmas Day!! Two years ago we got Ethan Scott a few days before Christmas.
This year we are not all together but we still carry on our family traditions separately as we seek to focus on the coming of Christ.
We have come to realize that Christmas traditions may not always be celebrated like we have always been able to do – situations change. But we will always be able to celebrate the fact that God never changes and we can never be separated from Him.
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Make some Grinch-ka-bobs and talk about the lesson we can learn from the Grinch 🙂
(marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, green grapes)