I think this time of year is exciting for all sorts of reasons. There’s the first snowfall, all sorts of holidays in November and December, and of course there’s a brand new year waiting right around the corner. Come Jan 1, we have to get used to writing 2010 instead of 2009, we have to settle that debate on whether we’re going to keep saying “Two-thousand and” or start abbreviating it as “twenty”, and we have the opportunity to start fresh with a new calendar year (keep checking On the Mat to see my 101 goals in honor of the new year, coming up soon).
I personally celebrate Christmas, and it’s one of my favorite times of year. I love the sparkling lights on the houses, the Christmas music, the standing excuse to eat good food like cookies and candy canes, and more than anything I love the spirit that takes over near Christmas time – people are more generous, charitable, and just merrier than other times of year. It brings out the best in us.
There are a lot of great Christmas and holiday movies out there, but my all-time favorite is Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the original animated version. And because I think it has such a beautiful and family-oriented message that can apply to all sorts of things besides Christmas, I thought I’d share it here : )
[You know the story: it’s Christmas morning and the grumpy old Grinch with his too-small footwear and his tiny little heart and his weird Seussian fingers has just spent all of Christmas night stealing the presents, food, and Christmas decorations from Whoville. Now he’s waiting for the Whos to realize it.]
Poo poo to the Whos, he was Grinch-ily humming.
They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming.
They’re just waking up, I know just what they’ll do.
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry boo-hoo.
That’s a noise, grinned the Grinch, that I simply MUST hear.
And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started out low, then it started to grow.
[insert weird Who song that is half real words, half gibberish]
But this sound wasn’t sad. Why, this sound sounded glad.
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.
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.”
He puzzled and puzzed 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.”
Well what happened then? Well in Whoville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.
And then the true meaning of Christmas came through
And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two.
Welcome Christmas, bring your cheer,
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
Namaste and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays,