Here's a Surprising Example of Holiday Peace and Goodwill

The angelic chorus in the Biblical Christmas story sings of peace on earth.  Then, as now, peace was rare and never lasted for long.  And in this season full of busyness and distraction, peace can be hard to find.  But when we look for it, inspiration shows up in unlikely places.


Here's the story.

The Grinch,* one of Dr. Seuss's most memorable characters, doesn't initially seem like an inspiration for anything.  He's a hermit who lives in a cave and doesn't care for noise.  He's also jealous, vindictive, and a lying thief.

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.

He thinks that by removing the trappings of Christmas – the toys, the food, and the decorations – he can prevent Christmas from coming, and spite his neighbors to boot.  Of course, we know he's wrong.

(We do know he's wrong, don't we?)

Even though all of their stuff has disappeared overnight (every last crumb of it stolen by the Grinch), the Whos down in Whoville greet Christmas morning by singing merrily together hand in hand.  This awes and amazes Mr. Grinch, although it takes him three hours of puzzling to come up with a truth he never realized before:

"Maybe Christmas" he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

That realization transforms him!

So he returns the toys and the feast, which is nice, but the real game-changer is still to come.

The secret ingredient

In an unexpected turn, the Grinch stops cutting himself off from his neighbors and joins the Whos as they sit down to eat together.

And in a beautiful act of grace, the Whos fully accept Mr. Grinch at their table, even giving him the honor of carving the roast beast.

The Grinch discovers that most of the things that claim our time, money, and attention during the Christmas season aren't ultimately necessary to the celebration.  He learns that

  • Christmas means cheerfulness and thanksgiving.
  • Christmas means kindness and inclusion.
  • Christmas means togetherness and harmony.
  • Christmas means giving and sharing.

No wonder his heart grows three sizes that day!  Connection – that feeling of camaraderie and belonging – is the secret to peace this Christmas and every day.

Not so hard to find

When we're standing in line, waiting to board a plane, or sitting in a theater, restaurant, or pew, let's acknowledge the other humans around us.  We're all in this together, and it only takes a moment to make a connection.  In a parking lot, a subway, or the grocery store – those connection points are everywhere.  Slow down just a bit and you're sure to find them.

This doesn't have to end with the holiday.  Try it on a dark January afternoon or an early August morning.

Aim for just a bit less busyness and a bit more attention, and I guarantee that peace will touch your heart too.

If you liked this post, you'll love my book A Minimalist Holiday: Simplify Your Celebration for More Meaning and Joy.  You don't have to do more or buy more to make the holidays mean more, and A Minimalist Holiday will show you how.

Also available:  My children's book, Fairhaven Christmas Eve.  On the day of Christmas Eve, everyone is busy with holiday plans, but some have forgotten the reason for the celebration.  Three children are struggling to find the ingredients that will make the day truly special, while another has forgotten how much she has to give.

Fairhaven Christmas Eve is a tale for young and old that will warm your heart, inspire your imagination, and remind you of all the joys of the season.

JUST FOR FUN!  Enjoy this rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (from the 1966 holiday cartoon) by my favorite Pentatonix.  It's included on this fantastic album you'll play over and over.


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