How The Grinch SAVED Christmas :)

Submitted into Contest #229 in response to: Write a story in which a cynical character gets amnesia on Christmas Eve.... view prompt


Christmas Christian Funny

One cold wintery day in early November, five close friends gathered together in their church fellowship hall over pizza and soda to discuss plans for the annual young adult Christmas party. Mr. Cynical, AKA Jake Rayes, was at it again with his yearly rebuttals, on why Christmas parties were silly, irrelevant to the birth of Christ, and a huge waste of time, you name it. Jake thought of it.

Once the itinerary for the evening was planned out, the group got started on their list of venues. Every year, each of five were assigned a particular venue to do some research on. They would each provide feedback on why the particular location assigned to them was the best place for their anticipated event.

It was not a contest, as to who was assigned the best venue, however, the small group certainly would treat it as such. They each had their own personal list of what an ideal Christmas celebration ought to include, and they saw to it that the venue they were assigned to research offered those opportunities.

If any of the members of the group, felt their assigned location was not a good fit, they were free to substitute with a comparable venue. Once Thanksgiving rolled around, one month prior to Christmas, their young adult pastor usually wanted the group to decide on their location, so the church can call to book the venue for their celebration.

When Jake, who was always completely against the whole idea of a party as well as the whole process of planning for it, began his assigned research, he actually surprised himself. He was extremely adamant about making this event look nothing like the average commercial Christmas, that he had a different list of questions in mind, to ask when meeting and interviewing with the prospective venue's event coordinator.

When the venue assigned to Jake proved to not meet his expectations as to what a true Christmas celebration ought to look like, but rather instead resembled a typical Christmas event that he so greatly disliked, Jake began to get discouraged and extremely cranky. He began to dread the holiday as it was quickly approaching.

However, as grumpy and depressed the holiday currently was making him, due the fact that he felt it was improperly observed, or observed in a way that did not honor the true reason for the season this roadblock challenged Jake to take a much closer look. For Jake, all of the people that Jake would normally shake his head at, and grumble about for doing Christmas prepping wrong, he found he was offering this year a new measure of grace, that he never extended before.

Jake noticed how all of the children who were so overfocused on whether Santa thinks they were naughty or nice all year, because they wanted more stuff on Christmas morning, just needed to know how Jesus views them, as opposed to the performance- based Santa, they were conditioned to believe perceives them. Jake noticed the parents who anxiously ran around town, like anxious chickens with their heads cut off getting last minute gifts for their children and planning big meals, really just wanted quality time sitting down with their adult or teen children uninterrupted by cell phones and social media browsing.

So Jake came up with a different Christmas party list. He came up with a list, that included what everyone wish their Christmas looked like, if they were not so busy on that hamster wheel, going round and round checking off boxes to the Christmas to do list they give themselves every single year. Not really the Christmas to do list or celebration they want, just the one that always was what it always was. Rather than judging, Jake had compassion for once and mercy, and grace, for those who were slaves to tradition on what their culture or society suggests their Christmas ought to look like, rather than asking one another what they would like it to look like or be.

Jake came back to the group with his new ideas. He shown his other four friends his blueprint of a suggested Christmas Party.

It went as follows. Jake made the Christmas Party Venue be the fellowship hall. Jake suggested that each attendee invite the very family member who planned to host Christmas that year. A majority of young adults could bring, for example, their mom or grandma, or aunt to the party.

There was a nativity scene at the party. One corner of the room had a living set there. One corner had a dining room table and some chairs there. There were two open areas that looked like a second dining room and a second living room.

In the middle of the room a huge eye, and in the eye, the words" much closer look" across it. The Christmas party design was meant to prepare families for their very own Christmas Day with one another.

Each guest who entered the building was greeted by a host. The host handed each guest an index card faced down. The guest was asked to go to the first section of the room with their guest for the party and sit down and flip over their index card.

They each were asked to read what the card says and answer that question to their guest. Then they would rotate to the next section of the room for their next index card that would be handed to them by another host. Then they would meet in the middle in the circle for a third index card about a "much closer look."

The goal of the whole exercise was to challenge one another to ask ourselves why we are so cranky and grinchy about Christmas and what can we do about this to make a merrier Christmas. The group voted. All five facilitators agreed this was the best idea yet for a Christmas party thus far. The party was a great success.

Here were the beautiful results. Young adults & their teenage siblings were allotted a morning to get together with their friends before the festivities began. Mothers decided to make their Christmas meal be a potluck, so they have more time in the living room enjoying their guests, vs in the kitchen wearing all the hats.

Young adults and teens put down their phones during dinner. They all went around the room and said what they loved about Jesus before exchanging their gifts,

Young adults and teens did not take off to their phones when dinner was over, but helped clear the table and load the dishwasher, and mom actually got to relax with her guests post dinner, vs missing it all in the kitchen.

They exchanged less gifts that were of material in nature and gave each other promises, like a meal once a week out to eat with one another, or that they all cooked together in the kitchen, a walk after supper, a family game night or craft night, or other activity they all enjoyed, or a family get away road trip. It was amazing!

The young ones talked about ways they can be NICER than NAUGHTY next year and thanked Jesus for not judging them based on naughty or nice, or measuring the amount of love they get based on performance. They thanked God for the ability to have food on their tables, not worrying they cannot afford a smorgasbord feast like some families have every year. They planned a day to do something for those less fortunate than themselves. It was such a lovely idea. So, this year, it was safe to say, that their group's grinch actually saved Christmas! The End.

December 17, 2023 22:26

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