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It’s time to catch the true Christmas spirit

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Are you familiar with the Dr. Seuss story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”?

If you aren’t, then here’s a brief summary: The Grinch, a green hairy creature, lives on a mountain above the community of Whoville. Whoville is a town of Christmas-loving Whos. But the Grinch hates Christmas and tries to steal it by taking away all the Whos’ Christmas decorations, presents and food.

But much to the Grinch’s surprise, he hears the Whos celebrating anyway, singing joyfully on Christmas morning. He realizes then that Christmas really isn’t about decorations and gifts and food, but rather, it’s about love and caring. And he gets the Christmas spirit, and brings back the Whos’ stolen merchandise.

Of course, we as Christians knew what Christmas was really all about anyway, didn’t we? But, even so, how would we feel if on Christmas morning we awakened to a living room empty of a decorated tree and presents, and a refrigerator empty of Christmas-ready food? Would we sing — or would we feel like Christmas was ruined? Something to think about, anyway.

I heard a character in a TV movie I saw recently ask, “What’s Christmas without Santa Claus?” The Christian response is, “It’s still Christmas, because Santa isn’t what matters. What matters is Jesus Christ. It’s His birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day.”

But that’s certainly not how the world sees it. As the Grinch in the latest movie version of Dr. Seuss’ book first thinks, Christmas as a time for selfish people to ask for material gifts and expect to get them.

But God gave us the greatest gift of all, a gift that tops all gifts for now and eternity. As John 3:16 (paraphrased) tells us, “For God so loved (us), that He gave us His only begotten son that we might have eternal life.”

My goodness, what’s a new pair of shoes or a bathrobe or a diamond ring or even a car compared to forgiveness and everlasting life? Let’s catch the true spirit of Christmas!

Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.

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