When I was a little girl, I loved all of the Christmas specials. It was a big deal in our family when they came on TV. We all gathered in our basement recroom, the popcorn popper whirring the kernels around in the melted butter, the scent filling the air, as we waited in anticipation of shows that could only be watched when they aired that one time each year. My favorites were always The Little Drummer Boy and The Year Without a Santa Claus. I loved the latter because it proved that nothing could stop Christmas from coming–not a blizzard, not a heatwave, not a feud between two warring brothers, not Santa being sick, or lack of belief in the world. Mrs. Claus was determined that Christmas would happen no matter what.
The old, animated Grinch goes a step farther. When the mean, green cave dwelling creature does everything he can possibly think of to stop Christmas from coming–everything from stealing the presents and decorations to snatching the roast beast, he is met with the grand realization that Christmas could not be stopped.
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came with out 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!”
Without going into the Christmas story, something that Peanuts‘ Linus did so beautifully , Seuss’s Grinch reminded us that Christmas does not need all of the wrappings and bows and pumpkins pies and the largest goose hanging in the window. And to be brutally honest, it doesn’t need an airplane ticket or a place at the dinner table or a room full of relatives.
I was talking to my oldest daughter, Rebecca, a few days ago, and we were both lamenting about the doctors and politicians and reporters all chanting, “Cancel Christmas this year!” Maybe they should all start dressing in green and toting around a dog wearing antlers. They all seem to be almost gleeful as they tell their canine companions,
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!”
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!”
But wait, what is that? Is it singing, I hear? It is rejoicing? Is it a sound that’s not sad but a sound that’s merry, VERY?
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t leave your house to go shopping. It doesn’t matter if you can’t provide a spread fit for a royal family. It doesn’t matter if there are decorations or family at the door or any of the other trappings we’ve been told make up Christmas. Remember that Christmas…means a little bit more!
Everyone is getting so excited about the Christmas star. People flocked to their yards Monday night to see it hanging in the sky–the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that scientists tell us was most likely the same thing witnessed and followed by the Magi over 2000 years ago. With all of the apocalyptic events we’ve seen in the past year, I would think that people would be leery about a star that, at one time, prophesied the coming of the Lord. Most of us know what is foretold to happen when He comes again. Could this be a more prophetic sign than we are giving it credit for?
Or is it just a sign that points us back to the Little Drummer Boy and Mrs. Claus’s insistence that Christmas could not be cancelled and that great story that Linus told when Charlie Brown asked, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Perhaps the Christmas star appears this year as a great sign to everyone. No matter where you are, no matter what you have, no matter whom you are with, Christmas cannot be stopped from coming. Jesus came and continues to come year after year, day after day, minute after minute. You may not have family knocking on your door to get in this year, but Jesus is knocking. He is knocking on your door today and every day. He is calling your name. He is seeking you out.
Are you ready to answer the call?
Are you willing to see Christmas for what it really is?
Isn’t it time that this world turned from hatred and scorn and prejudice and all things evil and looked to that Christmas star? Isn’t it time we sing and celebrate and hear Linus’s message? Isn’t it time that we recognize that
“Maybe Christmas…doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020).