How the Grinch Stole Christmas

~~ John 14:27 (NIV84)~~ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.



by Carley Cooper

Carley - Christmas 2011
Photo by M. Cooper
The new year is here Worshipers.  Have you made any resolutions?  Are you sticking to them?  Have you cheated on that diet, skipped a workout, or watched just one more episode of that TV show for old times’ sake?  I’ve been sticking to mine so far, but I’m pretty stubborn most of the time.  When I really set my mind to something I tend to hold on to it like a dog with a bone.  The fact that I made any resolutions is probably a step forward.  The only resolution I ever made before was that I would never make any resolutions!  I try to think of it more as ‘Goals’ instead of ‘Resolutions’.  It seems a little more solid somehow. 

Don’t you just hate it when you try so hard to hold on to something, only to get so weak because of the fight that you have no choice  but to let go; only to come to the realization “Wow, I really wish I didn’t hold on so long!”  Sometimes it’s even hard to remember why you were holding on so long in the first place.  It feels a little like someone told you that you’re wrong, or having to admit you were wrong.  Just based on that alone, I feel like I should hold on longer.  Now that Christmas is over that’s how I’ve been thinking... wishing that I hadn’t held on for so long.  If you read my last blog “Sliding on the Ice”, you’ll know that holidays are always very difficult for me; with Christmas being the worst.  It’s been almost two decades since I had a truly happy Christmas.  That is, until this year.  I was telling my doctor about this the other day.  He said “so what was different about this Christmas”.  Honestly, I had to say, “nothing”.  It was the same Christmas that my family has had every year since... well, always. 

Tigger Christmas-Tree
(The topper was accidentally cut off
in the shot... it was an angel Tigger)
Photo by Carley
We carted all our Christmas gifts and stockings to my brothers house.  After we piled them all around their Tigger Christmas-Tree, we practically filled up his living room.  Yea... the tree.  Well, my nephew, who’s 26 now (the baby of the family) has collected Tigger’s his whole life, so they decided to do a whole tree dedicated to Tigger and put all his little stuffed Tigger’s on the tree as the ornaments.  Well, except for a 6 foot inflatable one wearing a Santa hat, which had to sit outside the front door.  It’s a very happy tree actually.  I mean, have you ever seen a sad Tigger?  Anyway, I’m getting side tracked.  We have Christmas at my brother’s house because he has the biggest place.  His home can actually fit us all, along with all the stuff.  Well, I went to church on Christmas morning and had a wonderful time with my Church Family.  Then, I went to spend the rest of the day with my ‘other’ family at my brothers house.  By the time we got around to starting our gift-opening it was noon.  It’s a good thing we don’t have any little kids anymore... ‘cause it took us four hours to get them all open!  My first thought after it was done was “Wow, we really are in a society with way too much stuff”.  Anyway, we finally got around to eating my Mom’s Christmas Quiche for breakfast in the middle of the afternoon.  It was really yummy!  Then we finished off the feast with an awesome turkey dinner, a glass of wine, and way too many treats.  Also, really yummy!  I gained 10 lbs through December because of Christmas baking and Christmas eating (refer back to the resolutions section!)  The family spent the day laughing together, loving the family-time, listening to Christmas music, and watching a fake fireplace burning on my brothers big screen TV (which sits on top of the real fireplace).  Oh, yea, I almost forgot.  We also spent some time watching the 3 doggies learn to use their new little staircase that my dad built so they could get up on the bed by themselves!  Some Chihuahua’s are fast learners; others, not so much.  Anyway, I was on top of the world all day, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that we were celebrating Jesus’ birthday.  I had a truly happy Christmas.

So why was this year so different, when the past 18 years were so overwhelmingly painful?  Well, in a “nut shell”, the difference was that this year I let God join me for Christmas.  The very slightly longer version is this... I prayed for God’s peace to be with me for Christmas; then, there was a very timely sermon about God’s peace by Pastor Jenn, and I topped it off with a talk with Pastor Henry about it.  All this helped me learn to be open to the idea of having a good Christmas.  I allowed my heart to be open to let the Holy Spirit do His work within me. Boy, that was a long time to learn that lesson!

But wait, my lesson wasn’t over yet!  In the lobby of my apartment building there is an awesome Nativity set as part of the seasonal decorations.  I have one of my own that I sit on top of my fireplace and it’s very charming, but I love looking at the one in the lobby because it really is an incredible scene.  It makes me feel good when I look at it and think about the awesome gift that God gave us in Jesus.  Sometime during Christmas week, following Christmas Day, some Grinch stole the baby Jesus figurine from our lobby Nativity set.  Since then, I’ve thought about that fact many times.  I think, it’s obvious that someone wanted to show some sort of symbolization that Jesus doesn’t belong to Christmas.  The only thing that I can get out of my brain about the idea of this Grinch attempting to steal Christmas is “sad”.  That is, it’s just so very sad that someone could steal the baby Jesus.  Over and over this kept running through my mind. 

Then, it hit me.  That’s exactly what I did to my own Christmas’ for such a long time.  I wouldn’t let go of the misery that I needed in order to keep the focus on myself instead of Jesus.  I stole my own happiness, and refused to let God give me His peace.  So who’s the bigger Grinch?  Now, I just have to think “Wow, I really wish I didn’t hold on so long!



~~ Dear God ~~    Thank You for the awesome Christmas celebration of Jesus’ birthday.  Thank You, also; for the gifts, family time, fun, food and laughter.  Mostly Thank You for the most incredible gift of all when You gave us Your Son so that we may be saved from ourselves.  Please don’t ever let me hold on to any more pain that will steal Your peace from my heart on any holiday; or any day of the year.  Father, please let the person who stole the baby Jesus figuring also be open to seeing and receiving Your peace.  Please make them an awesome servant for Jesus.  Oh, and Lord; Thank You also for Tiggers and Chihuahuas.  In Jesus name, AMEN.



38 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing your blog Carley. Praise God that you had a wonderful Christmas with God's peace in your heart. Bless you, Debbie

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  2. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you had a blessed Christmas and that you'll have a wonderful new year. Stay happy & healthy. Hugs.

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  3. LITTLEGUYSMOM1January 10, 2012

    What a great blog! I'm so glad you had a great Christmas. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hoopla of the holiday that we forget to invite Jesus to our celebration too. Let's make sure we invite Him into every day.

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  4. LITTLEGUYSMOM - Thanks so much. I'm very happy that you enjoyed it. HUGS

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  5. So happy for you that finally things are going well.

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  6. Thank you Gina. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a very blessed 2012. Hugs.

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  7. AWESOME blog!
    I am so happy that you had such a great Christmas and such an opening of spirit.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  8. SPARKLISE - Thanks so much for reading and for the support. HUGS

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  9. Thank you for sharing and Thank God for His son and your peace.
    That was beautiful - both the message of the Christ Child and the reason for Christmas plus the beauty of your words as you shared.
    Blessings and prayers for you to "let go" and help others to "let go" in 2012.

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  10. SHARSHA3 - Thank you so very much for your kind words. I write hoping that my ramblings about my journey through life will help or touch others in some small way. Thank you for the prayers and blessings. HUGS.

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  11. Wonderful. Thanks, Carly. Hugs

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  12. Thanks Moira. I'm glad you liked it. HUGS.

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  13. I'm so glad you had a great Christmas this year and that God was in the center of it as well. Treasure that moment.

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  14. Thank you again for sharing! I love your blogs. =)

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  15. Connecting.... thanks so much for the feedback & support. May blessings. Hugs.

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  16. Jo0926 - Thank you so much for reading my blogs! I'm so happy that you enjoy my writing. Blessing others in some way is why I keep writing. Hugs.

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  17. Great blog. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is so easy for us to let the Grinch steal Christmas from us.

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  18. KADULAC - Thank you so much for reading and taking the time for support. I feel so blessed by my readers like you. HUGS.

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  19. Well, I would've LIKED to think 'The Grinch-Thief' put it back early on Christmas day before anyone was up and around. You know, like the French do with a creche: they set it up in advance, but Baby Jesus doesn't appear until Christmas morning.

    I guess that didn't happen in this case, tho...
    :-(

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  20. KASEYCOFF - :-( No unfortunately that didn't happen. But one day that person will see their mistake and ask for forgiveness. God can use anything / everything to turn it around and use it as a blessing for us and to show His own glory. I hope this will be one of those times. HUGS.

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  21. How wonderful! To God be the Glory!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Hugs, Sunny

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  22. Thank you so very much Sunny for reading and for the support feedback. HUGS.

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  23. Carley, well written. Well thought out. So great that God was able to enter into your spirit and give you peace. I was blessed. Also enjoyed the idea of a Tigger decorated Christmas tree. What fun. May the peace of Jesus follow you through into the coming year and forward. Hugs. Ravyna

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  24. Ravyna - thank you so very much. God is good. He is also amazing. The miracles that He does in our hearts and in our lives is overwhelming. I'm glad you enjoyed it. To know you were blessed, is my blessing. HUGS.

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  25. Thank you LITA. I'm glad you enjoyed it! HUGS.

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  26. Great blog, great soul searching on your part, and awesome that you were able to open your self up to the Holy Spirit. Peace.

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  27. I'm so happy you had a chance to enjoy Christmas with your family with eyes and heart renewed by the love you now hold for your Lord and Savior. Jesus really is the reason for the season, and oh, how the world can tell us otherwise . . . and after a while, we even succumb to the world's way of thinking. So sad! May more people revel in Christ . . . with great delight, prayer, and thanksgiving.

    As for "all the stuff" we accumulate -- I must confess, this is the year my household makes progress: More must leave this house then that which enters. I typically don't make resolutions, but the idea of goals, as expressed by you and many of the Sparkpeople blogs I have read, can be a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) way to accomplish that which God has placed on our hearts as needing our attention. As such, when a friend asked me a second time what my resolves were for 2012, I chose to express how I want to strive to have an improved personal relationship with every aspect of life . . . that of my Faith, Family, Friends, Food, and Fitness through that wonderful aspect of life-long learning, thanks to the Word of God and the many terrific resources we have at hand. I thank God for the power a Google search can bring me.

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  28. Thank you so much Evelyn for reading and for the support. I like that SMART acronym. I haven't heard that before but I'm going to post it where I can see it all the time. It's a wonderful reminder to stay on track. Thanks. HUGS.

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  29. TRACYZABELLEJanuary 11, 2012

    I am so glad you let God in to celebrate Christmas with you-- He is the reason we celebrate right?

    LOVE the tigger tree~

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  30. Thank you Tracy for reading and the support. You are so right. I've chatted with people who say it's all about family time and being together; with no mention of Jesus in their lives. My first thoughts are "then what?". You celebrate and it's over. Focusing on Jesus means it's a forever celebration.

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  31. Thank you.

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  32. Thank you HONEYFULL & RSSSLHB for reading and the support. I hope you have a very blessed week. HUGS.

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  33. You are so very welcome SHOAPIE. I hope you have a very blessed day. HUGS.

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