How to de-Grinchify your holidays (and your life)

grinchEvery December my family and I watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It’s fun to villainize him – the insensitive jerk who figures if he can’t be happy, no one else should either. He steals their Christmas presents, their trees, stockings and decorations – even their food. And then he is baffled that even without all their “stuff” Christmas still comes.

As he watches them celebrate, hand in hand singing, his heart begins to grow and it busts right out of its shell. The Grinch finally realizes that he cannot take their celebration away because it comes from within them. And then he finds that he too has something within himself that is redeeming and worth celebrating.

No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, it is a time to celebrate something that transcends all the trappings of this world – the stuff we collect, the agendas we have, the races we are running, the things we fill our lives up with that keep us from truly enjoying each moment of them. It is a time for us to honor something within each of us that is greater than all of that – timeless and boundless – something that no one can take away. The holiday spirit is simply a reminder of a Spirit that is with us all the time. Sometimes dormant, sometimes forgotten, sometimes forsaken. Sometimes drowned out by all the noise and busyness in our lives.

But we can reconnect with it anytime. And when one or more people do reconnect, it opens the hearts of others – even someone as foul and reproachable as The Grinch. It is this Spirit that gives life to our most precious dreams and visions and guides us on a path that will allow us to find everything we need in order to realize them. It helps us to navigate through our biggest challenges and to make the most of our opportunities.

It unites us in ways that allow us to partner with others who are strong where we are weak and share a passion for that which we most wish to create. It is the lifeblood of our organizations, our communities, our world. And every year we have a beautiful reminder of its presence in ourselves and everyone around us.

We need not do anything, acquire anything, or prove anything to enjoy this extraordinary gift. We only need to remember who we really are and what is most important.

All of the gifts that we give and receive are really an outward gesture of honoring what is true within each other – expressions of our appreciation, our gratitude, our admiration, our love. So it’s okay if you don’t have all your Christmas shopping done, your presents wrapped, your table prepared to perfection. And it’s okay if you haven’t even been able to clear the work off your desk long enough to even begin thinking about those things. Right now, right here, you can stop and reconnect with this Spirit and allow it to give form to whatever you do and say from this moment forward. 

When we act with the intent of tapping into this Spirit within and sharing it with others, anything we do will be heartfelt – whether we have the “perfect gift”, or no gift at all. And we can give this gift to ourselves too – when we simply remember what is most real within us and what is most real within those around us.

The wonderful thing about this time of year is that it also marks the end of one thing and the beginning of another. As January 1 draws closer, we realize we have a whole new year before us – a brand new clean slate upon which to create something that is a reflection of this beauty we are now rediscovering, reconnecting to, and celebrating within ourselves and everything around us.

I wish you and yours the happiest and most blessed of holidays.

Grinch photo by texaslady1960 from

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