Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Thanksgiving

Why genuine gratitude begins with contentment

In Whoville the Grinch was quite greedy and mean.
The envy within him caused him to turn green.
Ungrateful and jealous, this monster-like grouch
spent Thanksgiving morning curled up on the couch.
No holiday baking. No holiday fun.
The number of chairs at his table was one.

It seemed that his appetite wasn’t for food.
He always was stuck in the stuff-buying mood.
“Why cook up a turkey?” He said to himself.
“I’d rather add stuff to what’s stuffed on my shelf.”

The stores were all closed for the Great Day of Thanks.
But that was no problem. The green prince of pranks
could shop by computer to his heart’s content.
And clicking his mouse, the Grinch spent and he spent.

The Great Day of Thanking went by really quick
and by spending and buying the Grinch got real sick.
But nobody knew it. And nobody cared.
For Grinches are selfish and Grinches don’t share.
And if you are wondering the point of this rhyme,
then keep reading on past the end of this line.

In the -ville we inhabit there isn’t a Grinch.
But sometimes we act just like him cause we’re rich.
We buy what we want without batting an eye.
We silence our kids’ “gotta-haves” when they cry.
We love to go shopping and spend major cash
while throwing away what’s still good with the trash.

We envy our neighbor’s new car and new boat
and find ourselves lusting to have her mink coat.
We want a new kitchen. New drapes would be fine.
And oh don’t we love how our hardwood floors shine?

We long for the latest. We crave what is new.
We’re not satisfied having one. We need two.
Two big screen TV sets. Two Lexus. Two homes.
There’s two spouses working to service the loans.

And though when we’re cut we bleed red not Grinch-green,
our selfish Grinch tendencies still can be seen.
Our hearts are thing-centered. They aren’t good at thanks.
They start to beat stronger at Best Buy and banks.

It’s hard to be grateful when there’s more to buy.
We can’t track our assets. In truth, we don’t try.
Instead we’re inclined to add up what we need.
First this and then that and then… Look at our greed!

And even on this day when turkey is king
we aren’t satisfied with a leg and a wing.
We need mashed potatoes. We need candied yams.
We need beans and biscuits plus two kinds of jams.
There’s tossed greens and Jell-o and cranberries too.
At least we are grateful we know how to chew.

But gratitude’s not way high up on our list.
We feel so entitled it tends to get missed.
But that is not all we ungrateful folk do.
There’s something that turns us a Grinch-greenish hue.
We rarely if ever say “I’m satisfied.”
And if we did say it, we most likely we lied.

If we are forever fixated on more,
we can’t be contented. Contentment’s a chore.
Contentment is foreign. Contentment ain’t fun.
And why should we settle when our dreams aren’t done?

Why settle indeed? Because deep in our soul
we feel something’s missing. It feels like a hole.
It’s really a hunger that’s long been ignored
by Grinch-like behavior that’s caused us to hoard.

But, hey, it’s Thanksgiving. The hungry are filled.
Let thirsts, dreams and longings be quenched met & stilled.
No turkey is needed. A ham will not do.
The feelings you long for hide deep within you.

Start counting your blessings. Look back, not ahead.
Be done being selfish. Be grateful instead.
Be grateful for fingers, for eyelids that close.
Be grateful that you can still smell with your nose.
Be grateful for legs that allow you to walk.
Give thanks that the tongue in your mouth lets you talk.

Give thanks for your children. Give thanks for your spouse.
Give thanks for your over-stuffed “imperfect” house.
Be done with Grinch yearnings. Let thanks fill your heart.
Acknowledge God’s goodness. That’s where it will start.