And so the season of Advent begins.
In our house, at least, this means that four movies are on permanent rotation 24-7: Arthur Christmas (2011), The Polar Express (2004), The Star (2017), and The Grinch (2018). We do take breaks to watch a few other things. However, these four are the principals in our holiday season line-up.
While the The Grinch is most famous for a song that originated in its much older Christmas special, which we do watch at least once every year, this newer version has done the most remarkable thing with the Whos’s final Christmas song.
When Dr. Seuss wrote his classic Christmas special (patterned after his famous book), he modeled the Christmas Day singing as a parody of the Latin that so frequently laces our carols. In the midst of these he also inserted key lyrics that grasped at the very heart of Christmas’s true meaning, including: “Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.”
Yet, in this most recent version, the writers added one key line to this final song that, in my opinion, takes the song and the story to an entirely higher level. It concludes with the words “Welcome home. Welcome home. Welcome home.”
Christmas (and Advent, too) is about finding our way back to the heart of what truly matters – a place where we count. Where we are included. Where our voice and our personhood are valued. Where we find love, whatever that may look like. It is about finding home.
My prayer for all of us this holiday season is that we will find our own hearts growing and our own way to a home where we are welcomed as the beautifully and wonderfully made humans that we are.