“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” — Dr. Seuss

It was my birthday recently and the long suffering “Sarz First” took me to see the Grinch, voiced wonderfully by Benedict Cumberbatch.  Anyway, we were most definitely the oldest people in the movie theatre, of which we had the whole first third to ourselves.  Acres of space.  Of course we were mindful of our fellow movie-goers, who had an average age of 6, and who spent a good proportion of the film choking on popcorn kernels and drinking sugar-free drinks!  Still we had a great time and film itself was a wonderful lesson on love.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the story of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, here is a little synopsis of the story…

“The Grinch, and his loyal dog Max, live inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. The Grinch has no friends and no contact with this neighbours at the foot of the mountain, the Whos from Whoville.  In fact, the Grinch’s pet hate and constant source of aggravation are indeed the Whos, who celebrate Christmas in a very BIG way.  Their fascination with Christmas being bigger and better that the previous celebration, angers the Grinch to such a degree that he can take it no more, and hatches a plan – aided and abetted by his loyal friend Max – to pose as Santa and instead of delivering presents, steal them instead.  The Grinch doesn’t stop at the presents, he steals EVERYTHING.  He steals Christmas, and thus shuts up the Whos once and for all.”

But what the Grinch doesn’t count on is that the Whos aren’t bothered by his actions.  And whilst the Grinch manages to get away with his dastardly deed, he learns a valuable lesson.  He learns that Christmas isn’t about the decorations, or the food, or the presents or outdoing your neighbour with an amazing light display.  What Christmas actually is is a chance to tell the people around you how much they mean to you.  Spending time with family and (if you don’t actually like them then…) friends.  All of the other stuff don’t mean a thing if you can’t share it!

And it’s true in our own lives.  There are people that have lots, and those that don’t have very much, but none of that matters in the grand scheme of things.  Telling someone you love them and how much they mean to you is the best Christmas gift you can give.  OK, so it might not be a Rolex or a PS4, but those are just trinkets of a life you probably can’t afford anyway!

This Christmas time, spare a thought for the homeless of your town or city, who probably don’t have a warm place to stay.  Don’t be a Grinch and judge why they are where they are; that’s nothing to do with you.  If you can, donate something to your local food bank, so that those who have fallen on hard times can have a food-related treat over the period the do it.  Sponsor a room for a homeless person – there’s lots of opportunities to do that in your local area. At the very least, smile and say hello to that person on the street; you never know your acknowledgment and words could mean all the difference to them and their life.

Finally, just remember that if you strip away the chintz and kitsch of Christmas there is nothing left but love.  The Grinch was right, Christmas doesn’t come from a store at all. So despite what the media tells us… If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around!

Until next time…

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