Darkness has covered the earth; thick clouds of intolerance, aggression and greed hang low among the peoples. Despite this ill weather, the weary world still clings to the prophets’ hopeful words that love will rain down and a Savior will spring forth from the earth. Patience, people, for the Lord is coming.
High above Whoville on the top of Mount Crumpit, the Grinch is in a sour mood. He dreads this time of year because the Whos make so much noise during Christmas. All their celebrating, feasting and horn-blowing drives him crazy. How can he stop Christmas from coming?
On the edge of town, Charlie Brown is confused. He usually enjoys the weeks before Christmas, but not this year. He just can’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit. His friends only talk about the presents they want and their big, shiny aluminum Christmas trees. The season gets more commercial every year. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Over in Bedford Falls, George Bailey is despondent. After years of hard work and self-sacrifice, he and his family don’t have much, just a drafty old house and some hand-me-down clothes for all their children. He must be a terrible embarrassment to his wife. Now his business is in bad financial trouble. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if he had never been born?
Bob Cratchit understands these feelings all too well. Stuck in a low-paying job with a tyrant as a boss, Cratchit worries about making enough money to feed his family and care for his crippled child. Perhaps the small handmade gifts and mother’s Christmas pudding will be enough to make their Christmas special. Still, is there any hope to get Tiny Tim to a doctor?
In New York, Frank Cross is feeling the stress of producing a live television show on Christmas Eve. He has put in long hours to climb the corporate ladder, but still isn’t happy. He is warned that if he doesn’t change his ways and care more about others, he will die alone without feeling love again. Does he really have to be visited by three more ghosts?
In his office on the 44th floor of the Empire State Building, Walter Hobbs is grumpy. He has worked hard for the publishing company, even to the point of ignoring his wife and son Michael. Now he is face-to-face with a grown man dressed as an elf who claims to be his son Buddy. Should he forge ahead with his business plans or stop and let a little Christmas spirit into his life?
(((((((Far away from the maddening crowds, in a small cave where animals sleep, a man and woman find shelter for the night. The man had ignored his peoples’ customs and stayed married to his young wife, even though she was pregnant with another’s child. Tonight he will do what he can to make her comfortable. The woman had been very scared, for she didn’t understand how she could become pregnant. Yet when she heard the angel’s words, she accepted them wholeheartedly and gave herself as a servant to God. There in the cave, in the dark, silent night, she gives birth to her son.)))))))
In the Empire State building, Walter Hobbs tells his boss that no job is more important than his family. He and Michael leave to find Buddy, who has wandered into Central Park at night. The family reunites and Walter realizes the joys he has missed for many years.
At the TV station, Frank Cross realizes he has a second chance to live his life in love. He stops the live broadcast and tells the viewers that there’s much more to life. So many people need our helping hands. If we help others in all we do, we too will feel a joy that is sweet and everlasting.
Bob Cratchit can’t believe his eyes or his ears. His family’s Christmas celebration was very special because the butcher surprised them with a prize turkey for their dinner. Now his boss is smiling and telling him about a raise in salary. The company will even pay for a doctor to care for his crippled son Tim. Christmas is indeed a blessed and miraculous day.
After his heartfelt prayer, George Bailey realizes that even the threat of going to jail is not so bad, not when you compare it to living in a cold, hard world without the love of your wife, family and your friends. He truly has a wonderful life and makes a big difference in other peoples’ lives. This makes him one of the richest men on earth.
Charlie Brown now feels happy, for he knows the true meaning of Christmas lives inside of him, no matter how commercial the world seems to be. He and his friends come together to welcome Christmas with the song of the angels: “Hark, the herald angels sing ‘Glory to the newborn King!’”
On top of Mount Crumpit, the Grinch realizes that Christmas is not about all the ribbons and the tags. Christmas has come this morning without all the packages, boxes or bags. His heart then grows three sizes when he finally understands that Christmas does not come from a store. Christmas, he knows, means so much more.
The world awakens in a great light. Rejoice, oh people, for the Lord has come. Jesus the Christ, the Alpha and Omega, has been born into the world. He is the first and ultimate Christmas gift, a love given to us by God our Father. When we give our gifts to family and friends, we resemble, in some small, imperfect way, this same love sent by Our Father.
Like a Christmas candle, may our lives shine forth with this light of love for all to see.
Christopher Fenoglio falls asleep counting his blessings at his home in Nashville. May you and your families have a blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year.