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How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2008

I’m sure most of us remember the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas from the Dr. Seuss book. Remember that poor little puppy dog with antlers strapped to the top of his head that pulled the wicked Mr. Grinch up and down the mountains? The little fellow skidded and tumbled and made his way through the shoulder high snowdrifts only to make his way to Who-ville where the mean creature that had cracked the whip to drive him onward slithered his way into sweet little Cindy Lou Who's house to steal the gifts from under the Christmas tree. For that matter, if memory serves me, he stole the tree along with everything else.

I said all that to say that in my opinion, the news is the Grinch of 2008. I can scarcely turn on the car radio or the television without being bombarded with the percentages that major retailers project their sales will have dropped when compared to 2007. My oldest daughter heard one such report with a catch phrase that went something like "Worst Christmas in a Decade". She was very curious to know exactly what a "decade" was. I believe that she thought it was some kind of Christmas stocking or a place where presents were dropped off by the jolly old elf himself.

This put me in the less than enviable position of having to explain economic slowdowns in words that a four year old could fathom. I can remember asking my mom, "Why did the Grinch hate Christmas"? She never had an answer for me because she probably felt that I would not understand. I felt her pain as even with my best efforts, this child could not understand what all this had to do with Christmas.
She simply could not make the connection between Jesus and sub-prime mortgages even when explained in the simplest of terms. Then it hit me; there IS no connection.

If you want to know How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2008, it was by making the celebration too much about purchasing power and too little about blessings of faith and the innocence of children. We may be in a recession and there may be fewer or less expensive presents given to our loved ones, but let’s rise above it and show the world that the quality of our lives is not based on purchasing power and credit limits. It would probably do us all good to get back to the basics of the holiday spirit and not to have so much focus on what we get but rather on what we have.

Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues to read more opinionated diatribe from this stay at home mom.