Almost everyone is familiar with Dr Suess’ classic Christmas story about the Grinch who stole Christmas.   Even if you were so deprived as child you didn’t own the book, you most certainly have seen Jim Carrey’s brilliant portrayal in the Hollywood movie version.

As Dr Suess tells the story, because the Grinch hated Christmas he stole all the toys and trees from Whoville thinking that would put an end to it.  To his surprise, come Christmas morning what did he hear?  

Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
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 with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, 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!”

Today the Grinch has come up with a new strategy to steal Christmas that is working a whole lot better.  Instead of depriving people of the trappings of Christmas, we have been over-indulged instead.  Christmas has reached a whole new level of excess.  Many of us run around buying gifts that nobody wants, with money we don’t have, for people we don’t like.  Amidst the parties, the decorations, the lights, the turkey dinners, the eggnog and obligatory gift giving most Canadians will not be able to find even one hour to attend a Christmas church service and thank God for the gift of His Son.  Many Churches have stopped even having Christmas services altogether. 

It has paved the way for the politically correct police to waltz in and quite literally take Christ out of Christmas.  The cards now say, Seasons Greetings.  Listen carefully, Christmas shopping is only referred to on the news as Holiday shopping.  Even the lowly Christmas tree has been renamed the Holiday tree.  Or in the case of the Manitoba Legislative building…the Muliti-cultural tree.  Whatever the Sam Hill that means.  Did you hear that the Supreme Court ruled there can be no Nativity scene may be erected in Ottawa?  Oh, not for religious reasons…they just couldn’t find three wisemen in the entire nation’s capital.  But, they had no trouble filling the stable with jackasses.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

One city, Newport Virginia has actually renamed Christmas and is calling it HollyDazzle.  The Christmas tree is now the Tree of Illumination.  And the theme song…Frosty the Snow Man!  Does it get more overt than that?  I love the story about a woman who called a church with a sign that said Jesus is the Reason for the Season.  She chided the pastor, “do you people have to drag religion into everything?”

Oh, I think the Grinch is very much alive and well.  His strategy is working far better than it ever has before.  In George Orwell’s 1984 he feared the world would be controlled by those who would inflict pain on the population.  Aldous Huxley in A Brave New World believed they would be controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.  He wrote “(they) failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”.

What would happen if we as Christians began to lead the way by simplifying Christmas?  Instead of excessive gift giving we could find a way to serve the poor.  While we are attending the office party we could offer to lead in some Christmas carols.  Even rank heathens will sing these songs…everybody knows the words.  Then, we could look for subtle opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas.  If you are looking for a Christmas service to attend, we have two of them Christmas Eve.  One at 6 PM, the other at 8 PM.  Why not plan your festivities around it.  We do.  We invite the family over for dinner only after they have come to church with us.  It’s not a hard sell.  Deep down they know that Jesus is the reason for the season.   Merry Christmas everyone and remember wise men still seek him today!



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  1. Tracey says:

    I will be forwarding to everyone in my address book. I shook my head reading this thinking how sad this world has become.

    Merry Christmas and God bless everyone especially this who don’t see this as a problem.

  2. Jake says:

    We have simplified our Christmas by supporting some agricultural projects offered by Samaritan’s Purse. This has been welcomed by our children and their spouses. We still give stocking stuffers and really enjoy the time together. We always read the Christmas story and pray before any gift giving. It is great family time. Finding something that our children needed or wanted was becoming increasingly difficult. This way that stress is gone and we can multiply the good our money does in a third world country.

  3. Karen says:

    Multi Cultural Tree?I hadnt heard that..good grief.Yes,I too am shaking my head reading this.What is this world coming to?
    We in our home will not remove Christ from CHRISTmas!!
    Another good post Pastor Mark,I appreciate your time blogging.Bless you and your famliy this Christmas season!

  4. Carmen says:

    Good post! It would be funny if it wasn’t true. Oh, and I have a few friends I want to send a copy of the “Santa died laughing” to…hehehe. ;P
    I hope it’s okay if I mention this post on my blog with a link back to here.

  5. David John says:

    I am not letting the heathen way of life ruin my beliefs, Our church family knows how to celebrate the reason for the season!! So I will wish you all a happy CHRISTmas, enjoy what has been given, a great price was offered up for this very time in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. God Bless you all.

  6. Jesus says:

    Yes…. the heathen are certainly an interesting bread Mr. john.
    Watch out “they” probably are going to take the Darth Vador out of Easter too.

  7. Connie says:

    I make a point of saying Merry Christmas to everyone and I can’t believe the people that say everything BUT……. Christ has been taken out of Christmas but not in my house and I will continue to explain until I am past blue in the face that “Jesus is the reason for the season!”
    God bless and have a very Merry CHRISTmas!!

  8. Jeff says:

    This is what we have taught our kids and the kids we are fortunate enough to make contact with through Sunday School & our summer vacation bible school, about the “real” Christmas. The Christmas tree reminds us of the cross. The Christmas lights remind us that the Light of the world came to us as a baby in a manger & that WE are now to light up the world as He taught. The gifts we exchange remind us that the wise men had to travel many miles with their gifts to find the Saviour…we don’t have to move an inch…He’ll come to us if we invite Him, and the only gift He wants is your heart! Most of the nativity scenes we see are actually 5 star compared to the actual birthplace of our King! Check out this link from The Skit Guys, And, Santa was actually a real person, except his name was Nicholas, he was a bishop in a church a long time ago, he didn’t have a sleigh & reindeer, but he did have a heart like Jesus, which showed not only in his words but also in his actions. I live in a small town in Saskatchewan, so I’m sure we’re a little more sheltered from the “big city” attitude toward Christmas, but even in travelling to Regina for shopping, I haven’t noticed any strong opposition to the “real” Christmas. Virtually every church sign we’ve driven by says they are having Christmas Eve service, most are have two! When I worked in radio over a decade ago, we were not allowed to play any “religous” Christmas songs until 3pm on December 24th (a decision I found odd as our program director was a devout Catholic). Now, at least on the staions I listen to, it is not out of the ordinary to hear traditional carols & newer Christian Christmas songs alongside “seasonal” favorites. One of my personal fav’s is by Canadian singer Paul Brandt called simply “Hands”. You can’t get more CHRISTmas than this song. My kids have taken a liking to the new Taylor Swift release called “Christmas Must Be Something More” where she has dared to say the name “Jesus” and let out the secret that He is indeed the Saviour of the world! Someone else who has been brave enough to admit he’s a believer is our Premier, Brad Wall. His Christmas message blew me away this year! Read it here: Many of you may not know that Saskatchewan had a Premier for many years who was actually an “ordained” minister…and to my knowledge, he never once publically shared his beliefs like Mr. Wall. I guess some Christians don’t mind putting themselves out there for Jesus! That’s what each of us needs to do. Stand up for what you believe…but do it in a way that doesn’t make you look like a nut! Make Jesus proud as we celebrate His birth! Merry Christmas!

  9. Joy says:

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
    I have never missed a Christmas Eve service, to me that is the most important part of the season, dinner, and gifts are a far second. I have taught my boys to give to others this time of year, ie: samaratin’s purse, slavation army bin, giving food to the school bin.
    As a single mom of 2, I have had to rely on the kindness of others at this time of year. This year a family I know told me that instead of buying for each other, they all put their money together and give to a single Mom (their Mom was a single Mom). I was thrilled and it did make our Christmas as I had no money to buy gifts. When I am back on my feet financially, I will do the same. A few years ago, instead of buying gifts, I bought from World Vision , schoolbooks, medicine, mosquito nets, etc, then the person I bought it for recieved a tag ornament stating the gift that was given in their name. Some of my family was offended, they actually wanted a gift, yet most everyone I know has everything they could ever want or need. Homemade gifts are still a great idea, baking, or knitting for someone is so much more special than a $10.00 do dad , that they don’t need.
    Keep the blogs coming, I enjoy them very much.

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