Saturday, December 18, 2010

Feeling a little "Grinch-y?"

Yesterday was our last day of school before a wonderful 2 week break. I always love showing my kids the original animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on the VCR.  It has the Cat-in-the-Hat looking Grinch and all the peeps in Whoville and some funny music and it only lasts 25 minutes! It's not like the Jim Carrey version which I never really appreciated. It just seemed toooooo creepy to me.  I did like the beautiful song "Where are you Christmas" that came from that movie that Cindy Lou Who sings, but that's another story.

So, I was complaining to a friend about all my decorating woe's, and she replied,  "Well it IS hard to remember what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is,  isn't it?".... and I began to think, MAN AM I A GRINCH? Is it all about the "stuff" to me? I never thought that would happen!  As we watched the evil grinch get creepier by the minute, stealing all the toys from everybody,  I would do little side dialogues, trying to get the kids to see how the people in Whoville would turn the other cheek when this dastardly deed was done to them. (And that is something  I have never really understood...I mean.... how could you be SO nice to somebody THAT mean?)

It made me think about what the message of the Grinch tale is? Is it to be happy just because of the season, no matter what bad things have come your way this year? That would be a good message, I guess. Or is it that nice people can warm your heart, even a "2 sizes too small, Grinchy" heart?  Is it just  to have the giving spirit at Christmastime and not the bah, humbug spirit?  Oops, that's a whole other movie...I don't know. It is all of that mixed in I think. I have had my heart turned just realizing I'm getting a little Grinchy in my old age.  I like all the fun stuff, but I don't like all the work. And I forget about the important stuff in the busyness around me.
This morning we had our last Choir rehearsal before the big Christmas program at church tomorrow.  We perform songs,do readings from Luke and the choir sings with organ and flute accompaniment, along with our 2 awesome pianists.  I have belonged to many different choirs in my day, and many music groups. I've sung solos at weddings, funerals and had roles in musicals. But of all the CHURCH choirs I've been in....this one is my favorite.  We sing hard music and are expected to know it in 2 weeks. We perform at least once or twice a month in church and we've sung from the" Hallelujah Chorus" at Christmas to "Oh Divine Redeemer" at Easter. It's one of my favorite things...choral singing.

Well as we practiced in the choir seats in our chapel, we could hear these strange strains of "You're a mean one....Mr. Grinch"  sung in solo, in a deep base voice, coming from next door in the basketball court/cultural hall. I was so intrigued after practice I started roaming the halls. This is what I found:

The mail station where the people in the other congregation were writing letters to missionaries around the world. It was so cute with lots of bright Christmas stationery all around and these darling decorations. This Whoville citizen stopped and let me snap a picture of her. (She is also the decorating committee chairwoman--kudos to her!)

Down the hallway there was a kids' station where, kids got to go to CANDY HEAVEN! There was candy  everywhere, even hangin from the ceiling. I got excited just thinking how kids would be when they got their little hands on the candy scoopers! I wanted to grab one of the "scoops" and dig some candy out of those jars for my own little "take home bag".  But I just took pictures instead. dang it...so ungrinchy of me...

Well on the way out, I happened upon President Johnson (our previous stake leadership) dressed up all in green fur, with green face make-up. I had just bumped into THE GRINCH! He's like the least grinchy person I've ever met! How in the world did they get him to do this?  He must be in his late 70s. I sure wouldn't want to be railroaded into something like that when I get older! What a nice guy.  He let me snap this picture before he went on stage to do the Grinch numbers we had heard them rehearsing.

Pres. Johnson....isn't he cute?
 Then I saw my friend and general contractor  Robert (he helped do our kitchen remodel and wonderful travertine floors this past summer) walking down the hall dressed cute like a Whoville person! And more were hiding behind corners!

Robert, my excellent contractor...I hope he didn't drive home like this!
 I even got a shot of Cindy Lou Who on my way out to the car.  I kept thinking, "Man, who would go to all this work a week before Christmas?  But as I had walked down the halls I saw lots of kids from my school too. "Hi Mrs. Moss!" they would holler excitedly with those little faces kids have on Christmas morning. "Did you see the Grinch? He is coming!!!" Ah.... then I remembered....some of the reasons for Christmas...some of the messages of the Grinch story.

 Even though he is a slimeball who is filled with loathing and negativity about all things Christmas he is ultimately touched by the Christmas spirit, when ONE other person shows love and caring to him. And he begins to redeem himself by changing his loathing to LOVE of "Who-manity".

 I think the Christmas spirit is the best thing about Christmas. Everybody seems a little bit more giving and nicer. (Well, not including the shoppers the minute after stores opened on Black Friday), But later on in the day, even the shoppers are all neighbors waiting in the check-out line, chattin it up like longtime pals.  I like that part. The part where people show their best selves, their love.

I'm going to be less Grinchy this week leading up to Christmas. Well, I will admit, getting to be off work this whole week will make it easier. But I'm going to focus a little more on the new neighbors that just moved in across the street,  that don't know anybody. And I'm going to do some community service, reminding myself why we celebrate the season.

A very UN-grinchy guy!

It's the baby in a manger who gave such a perfect example of how NOT to be grinchy. And NOT just during the month of December, but every day. It's not easy showing love to others amidst the highs and lows of life.  I've got to remember to try and keep that Christmas spirit with me...because you never know when you are gonna run into a Grinch.

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