Every year we have a stack of Christmas movies we watch. On the top of the stack you will find, The Muppets Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, The Polar Express, and two versions of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Both the original cartoon and the 2000 version.
We love the Grinch. It is a movie we quote year-round. And while the whole movie is about the Grinch and his extreme dislike for Christmas, there is an underlining story that is often overlooked in the movie.
And it is Cindy Lou who is the story. Cindy is a Who, and The Who’s love Christmas. They go all out for the holiday, complete with an hourly countdown to Christmas and the largest Whobilation ever.
But Cindy wasn’t feeling the Christmas Who vibes. Her parents were going bonkers over lights and gifts, but something just felt off to Cindy; something didn’t seem right.
And her confusion only got worse when she met the Grinch, and she began to learn more about the odd Who.
All the Who’s detested the Grinch. No one ever mentions his name for fear of causing a riot. And Cindy couldn’t understand why. The Grinch wasn’t the only thing she couldn’t understand, she was having trouble understanding Christmas. You see, Cindy was searching for Christmas.
And she knew it wasn’t in the lights or the competitions. Enter in the song the movie is best known for…
Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away?
My world is changing
Does that mean Christmas changes too?
Or just me?
There are times when we feel Christmas has left us. People are going nuts over the peppermint flavors at Starbucks. Christmas lights so epic they can be seen from the Space Station. Presents so extravagant that you will be eating canned soup for the next year. And yet something is missing.
Cindy was missing something. And the Grinch had a total misunderstanding of the holiday, he too didn’t understand what Christmas was really about.
So much so that he thought he could steal Christmas, because to the Who’s, Christmas was lights, presents, Whobilations, countdowns, Jing Tinglers, Flu Floopers, Tar Tinkers, and Who-roast-beast with Who-pudding.
But Cindy met the Grinch right before his Christmas heist, with a better understanding of why the Grinch hated the holiday so.
And something began to grow inside Cindy. The missing key to Christmas, the very thing she had been searching for…Love. Joy. Thankfulness.
And she was determined to share it with the Grinch, even after he stole Christmas…or at least the decorations anyway.
And soon even the Grinch realized that Christmas means so much more..
The heart of Christmas is not packages, ribbons, and bows. It is not mega lights or competitions or the Whobilation’s. Christmas does not come from the store; it is love that we share with those who need it. It is the joy we get when we share what we have who have nothing, and the giving of gifts, not the receiving. And most importantly it is being thankful for what you have. Being thankful should be more the focus at Christmas than at Thanksgiving.
We get in such a greedy, wish-I-had mindset around Christmas that we forget to look around at what we have.
Cindy’s father soon came to that same realization, he said at the end of the movie
I’m glad he took our presents. You can’t hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, because it isn’t about the… the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights. That’s what Cindy’s been trying to tell everyone… and me. I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.
And that is where Cindy, and the Who’s found Christmas, right alongside the Grinch.
Christmas never changes. The message, what it represents, and what we can glean from it never changes. We change though; our mindset changes, our lives and attitudes change, and how we react to Christmas changes.
But, if there is one time of year that we come down to earth, back to our roots, and even have a child’s mindset, it should be at Christmas.
Let your guard down and let Christmas into your heart. The real Christmas, where it is filled with love, joy, laughter, peace, and thankfulness.
Let those things fill your heart and you will never lose sight of Christmas.