The Grinches that bring the ‘Merry’ out in us

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No matter how many Christmases that come and go there always seems to be a Grinch waiting on the sidelines to ruin any kind of holiday spirit.

I suppose it will always be that way. There will invariably be people out there that can’t help but be their customary wretched selves 24/7, even during the holiday season.

Whether it’s the irate shopper you run into during a trip to the mall or the mean-spirited, beast of a U.S. postal worker that you can only describe using that naughty word typically reserved for a donkey; the Grinches are out there, tapping their slender long, green fingers and waiting.

And when they spew their malice at you, the unsuspecting victim, you can’t help but wonder if they didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas or there was just no one there to hug them when they were a child.

It’s the exact type of behavior that is unwanted and unjustified during the holiday season; after all it’s the time of year for good tidings, joy and peace for all mankind but, unfortunately, not with all.

There are numerous Christmas-themed stories, fables and Hollywood movies you’d think these Grinches could take a note from.

We’ve all seen and heard these tales. While it often ends with our antagonist saved from living a ruthless life or at the very least with a heart three times bigger than it was, their past indiscretions are forgotten on our part.

Sure, it usually takes a visit from the ghost of Christmas past or kick in the rear from the true meaning of the holiday, but in the end they learn their lesson.

If it was only that simple in real life.

On some level there always seems to be the need for ugliness to exist. The proverbial, constant struggle between good and bad that lives in both fiction and reality.

Whilst it appears these real-life Grinches will never learn any different, there are lessons for us to be found in their apparent grouchiness.

Our experiences with the holiday season’s Grinches can teach us why we celebrate with love and joy, rather than hopelessness and resentment.

The Grinches provide that enthusiasm for the season for us and presents the realization that a Grinch is what we never want to become.

Even if these Grinches forget how to present themselves at such a fun-loving time, we must remember to display goodness and integrity even to them because of all times this is when those characteristics should be shown. And after all you can catch more flies with honey.

In case you run across a Grinch this Christmas season treat them with all the benevolent manners they let fall to the wayside.

More than likely they’ll need it more than you.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.