Does anyone remember this advertisement from a decade ago? It was a tie-in with the release of the live action version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. The scene and voice over was the famous part near the end of the beloved book, “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!" Then another voice, interjects, “But in case he's wrong, there's always your Visa card!”
Nowadays, Christmas and its symbols are being used to sell everything from credit cards and computers to carpets and coffee and cameras. Lately the ante has been upped. Now it's the “The true spirit of Christmas” that is marketing hook used to sell, sell, sell. And as with the Visa ad, the irony screams.
I think that everyone that celebrates Christmas wants to find its true spirit, but along the way, “the spirit of giving” becomes “the spirit of shopping” and we are stressed, tired and empty at the end.
What is the true spirit of Christmas? “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men” seems pretty good to me, though the peace part seems elusive.
So this Christmas, let's all try to spread a little goodwill toward men… and women and children and of course, animals. Let's practice the arts of peace. One of them is gratitude. I'll start:
Thank you for helping us rescue and care for 11,000 animals this and every year. Thank you for caring. Thank you for volunteering, adopting, and donating. Thank you for the notes of encouragement. Thank you for forgiving us when we make a mistake. Thank you for the cookies that you dropped off yesterday. And most of all, thank you for helping us build a more compassionate community.
Oh, and Merry Christmas.