The Grinch Should've Stolen Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a heartwarming tale of an old hermit being bullied into the season by inconsiderate holiday racket.

Let's get one thing straight: the Whos are a bunch of bullies. Microscopic bullies, to be precise, which puts them in the same category as many beloved, wintry viruses like influenza. No one likes viruses because they barge in and disrupt our lives with their own agendas of conquest and domination. Much like the Whos' incessant noise:
For Tomorrow, he knew, all the Who girls and boys,
Would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!
Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE!
Suess may have intended to stack the deck with popular opinion, but who can blame the Grinch for wanting more considerate neighbors? More to the point, who can blame him for wanting them to keep their holiday spirit to themselves?

If there is a war on Christmas (and I'm not convinced there is), the folks who want to keep Christ out of Christmas could rightly be described as grinches. But that comparison takes on a different meaning when we realize that the Grinch is not the villain of the story. It's those nasty little folks in Whoville who've forgotten that there are other people in the world besides them.

They're the loyal soldiers in the war on the war on Christmas. They don't wait for enemy grinches to fire the first shot, they release movies about saving Christmas before Thanksgiving and use "Merry Christmas" as a shibboleth for suspected liberals. For Whos, the cross is a club, the church is a PoW camp, and Bill O'Reilly is their mayor. December 25th belongs to the baby Jesus and anyone who disagrees needs to get over it or get out.

It's bad enough that these holiday Whos contend that Jesus is the reason for the season when we have no idea when he was born, but Christmas is also becoming less accepted as America's preferred winter holiday. In 2007, only 83% of the country celebrated Christmas while over twenty-four million people celebrated Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the winter solstice. The year before, 90% celebrated Christmas.

This isn't cause for lament. Just because you might be surrounded by fewer people who agree with you, that doesn't mean it's time to start holiday cheering in everyone's face. If you can't celebrate Christmas without making others celebrate with you, then your beliefs are little more than juvenile peer pressure. By all means, celebrate Christ's birth next week and take joy in the season as many do. Just don't treat a holiday God never instituted as mandatory.

Maybe the Grinch shouldn't have stolen Christmas. But after fifty-three years of harassment, I think he was justifiably bitter. And seeing that Christmas is the only federal holiday among the many celebrated, I imagine their are lots of grinches out there who are equally cranky. However, the answer isn't a children's story about forcing our beliefs on others until they submit out of fatigue. It could be as simple as saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Being considerate of others won't undermine your beliefs, but it might actually grow your heart a size or two.

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