New Castle News

December 24, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: How the Grinch teaches the meaning of Christmas

Kali Davies-Anderson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — For many people around the world, today is Christmas Eve. For me, it is Christmas Eve AND one of the busiest days of the year.

Let’s be real here. It’s easy to say that you are going to be mindful, stay in the moment, remember the true meaning of Christmas etc.. But when you have 3 or 4 places to go, starting at 1pm and ending at 1am, with two small children that are not fans of napping or pretty dresses that are apparently “pitchy” (pinchy), it becomes a challenge to enjoy the day.

Last year I was responsible for a one year old and 5 months pregnant with my second child. Christmas was all a blur. I know that I didn’t feel well, Violet was not in the best mood and it was cold. These are my complaints. In all actuality it was a wonderful holiday season, blessed with all of the things I ever needed in life.

But, in the midst of the holiday season all I could think about was how overwhelmed I was.

With another kid in the mix , some days I feel as though I might not survive the holiday season without losing my mind. That’s not what it’s all about though, is it?

My two year old is nearly obsessed with the Jim Carey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Since the beginning of November she has watched it nearly once a day. And while it is intended for fun and entertainment, the message of the movie is quite poignant.

The people of Whoville were spending all of their time and energy on the superficial aspects of Christmas: the decorating, the gift buying and wrapping, the festivities and the traditions, almost going through the motions without truly enjoying the season.

Then this strange green creature decides that he will “steal Christmas” from them. So, he takes all of the decorations and gifts and escapes back to his home atop an ominous mountain. And then he waits. Waits to hear crying and sorrow and sadness. But, instead of this he hears singing. Singing? He wonders how the Who’s can be happy when he has taken everything from them.

The lesson here, I believe is the true meaning behind Christmas.

It’s not about the running around, the Christmas dinners, the presents or the lights. These things are all nice and part of many of the world’s Christmas traditions, but they are not the important things.

The important things are the people we will spend the holiday season with: The mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, grandparents, children, cousins, neighbors, friends, nieces and nephews.

It’s nice to be able to buy people gifts, but if you are not enjoying the time spent with these people then the gift buying is meaningless.

If you are getting yourself so stressed out about the preparation for the holiday that by the time it arrives you feel like you cannot enjoy it, then you are missing out on what makes Christmas so special, like no other day of the year.

So, this year I am challenging myself to not get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle. It will be okay if my daughter’s hair isn’t perfect for church. It will be okay if we are a little bit late for dinner, or if the gifts are not wrapped perfectly, because, these are not the things that matter.

What matters most is that I and my loved ones are all here to celebrate another year, I am blessed with a family that I love very much and we are all happy and healthy.

Not even the Grinch could take that away.