“I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.”
– Lou Lou Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It might not be Christmas Day just yet, but after a week of giving thanks, and watching this particular movie with my family on Thanksgiving Day, this is quite definitely the quote that speaks most to me right now.
It comes, as one might expect, just after the Grinch has made off with everyone’s stuff. He’s taken their presents, their trees, their food for their feasts, and just about everything else he could possibly take, and even turned off all the Christmas lights. The Whos wake up the next morning, and are devastated, but when their mayor practically throws a temper tantrum like a spoiled child, casting blame and guilt on a little girl who did nothing wrong, the girl’s father steps up. He stands in simple, grounded sincerity, having realized that, for all of the zeal with which he and his community have celebrated Christmas, somewhere along the way they got their priorities wrong. They put the stuff first instead of what really matters most: each other, their loved ones, and family.
In truth, they don’t need that stuff. Lou certainly doesn’t. Not while he has what matters most to him: his family.
Lou’s simple declaration is met with applause and joy and everyone starts joining hands and singing, with love, and not stuff, foremost in their hearts.
It is a fairly safe bet that this year’s holiday festivities may be a bit more muted than we are accustomed to. Indeed, I fear that, for some, it may be the worst part of the year, made all the worse for how happy it ought to be. There are few ways to feel more powerless than to be helpless to help those who are suffering, or may very soon be. It is a time when I really must be thankful for everything I have, and most of all for my family. My family is what I need most. So I hope that those who will have little else this year can still somehow find joy with their loved ones.
I suppose what I mean to say is that I hope others have the same joy that I do.
And that, no matter how bad it gets, I hope we can all have a merry Christmas this year, and every year.