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Wisdom From The Grinch
BookMark - Not Forsaken: Finding Freedom as Sons & Daughters (BOOK REVIEW)
Renegotiating Faith The Delay in Young Adult Identity Formation and What It Means for the Church in Canada
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The Pastor's Mother and the Usher (HUMOUR)

By Sheryl Scott

Shhh...isn't this nice? Everything is so quiet and's almost eerie. Jake is playing one of his new video games...Ted's flaked out on the couch...a combination of staying up way too late to put together a Lego warship…and stuffing himself with nuts and eggnog. And the baby? Well, I just checked on her...and she's fast the box her dollhouse came in.

You know, most people love the atmosphere of Christmas. All the hype leading up to it. The shopping, the baking, the wrapping. We've even given it a name: "Hustle and Bustle." For weeks we live in the hustle and bustle. It gets its start right after Halloween, then picks up speed in mid- November. Then gradually develops into a panicked, high speed chase to the finish line... December 24th…and let’s face it, by then, if you're not done…sucks to be you or really, the person you were buying for.

Some though, have aptly named our festive settings... "the trappings of Christmas." I guess we have a certain Mr. Grinch to thank for that.

The word "trappings" immediately conjures up the image of a wild animal caught in a net, or some other life-threatening contraption…scrambling for a means of escape and sanctuary. Which, if you were at White Oaks mall at all this month…is not entirely a false picture.

Trappings however, means: accessories, accouterments, paraphernalia, trimmings, frills...all the unnecessary, but "nifty" additions to Christmas.

You see, there's really nothing wrong with trappings...they can greatly enhance our experience. The problem comes when we fixate on them. When they become all we obsess about. When our hearts are squeezed and crammed instead of moved and full.

When we become…trapped…scrambling for sanctuary.

This time of day is my favorite part of the season....not Christmas morning....not Christmas Eve…Christmas Day....when everything’s been opened and admired. There's nowhere pressing to be…no one cares if the lights are working, or the ornaments are listing to one side....

Peace has finally found a place to sit in our home….up until now.... we kept sweeping it out of the way. A deep satisfying peace…the kind you can breath in and actually feel....the kind that moves your heart....fills it....helps it to remember....that the trappings are there…but not what really matters.

"And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't' come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

"For unto you is born this day
A Saviour which is Christ the King
And you shall find him wrapped in
Swaddling clothes...lying in a manger.
And He shall be called...
The Prince of Peace