Friday, December 19, 2014

You Are A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.

Less than a week 'till Christmas and I am doing OK.

A nearby village, that for a few decades had gone through difficult times, reinvented itself and its image to become a go-to place for people in the area.  It had once been a steel town and people were employed and prosperous there for generations.  In the seventies that all changed when the foundry closed and the jobs went away. Around the year 2000, the town fathers and mothers decided to come up with a plan to turn things around and bring new life to the often empty storefronts and streets.  The old movie theater that was built in 1906, was restored and remodeled by volunteers and now shows wonderful indie movies and hosts many musical and comedy acts.  Entrepreneurs saw the foot traffic and opened restaurants which brought others to invest in interesting shops along the walkway.  The town is alive again and festivities are held almost every weekend for people of all ages to enjoy.

During this season of light and hope, the kickoff for the holidays is the Firebird Festival, where a structure symbolizing the Phoenix that has risen through the ashes and is reborn is celebrated.  A local artist and a large band of volunteers give of their time for a few months to build this bird and it is always a fabulous sight.   Thousands come to town to see it's lighting and it is just as important to the spirit of the people of this once dying town as it is to its economy.
Photo

Then, in the dark hours of the early morning, on the day of this celebration this year, a sneaky Grinch came to town and burned the Phoenix down. 

"The Grinch hated Christmas!  The whole Christmas season!
Now please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. 

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
(Dr. Seuss).

Through social media, the news spread quickly.  Hundreds of townspeople quickly gathered at the site, bringing wood and tools and the rebuilding began within hours. No, it was not the bird that it had been, it was better.  It was the heart of the people who brought the Phoenix back to life and on that evening all those from our Whoville, assembled and celebrated and sang.  The flames lit up the sky and their spirit was renewed, once again.

"That's a noise" grinned the Grinch, "that I simply must hear!"
He paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small
Was singing without any presents at all!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling,.  "How could it be so?"
(Dr. Seuss)

 The celebration went on, the night was more appreciated, and the grinch who thought that he had stolen the night, didn't. 

However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you joy and contentment and for love to surround you. Keep your spirits high and look for the good in everyone - even a Grinch, because perhaps, he needs hope most of all.

45 comments:

  1. Loved reading your blog, Arleen. What a mean spirited Grinch, whoever it was. I loved the inspiration demonstrated by all those wonderful towns folk who rebuilt the Pheonix into an even bigger better one. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Molly.

      I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy new year.

      Delete
  2. You can't keep good people down. : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the best Christmas story in a long time. Hooray to the stout hearted men and women of Who Village.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social media let the word out and they came by the hundreds to help. It was a wonderful and did the heart good to see.

      Have a very good holiday, Joanne.

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful account, Arleen. Thank you. My best wishes to you in this and all seasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My best wishes to you and your family also, Geo. May you have a very, very merry Christmas.

      Delete
  5. Lovely story. The little town sounds like ours. The paper mill is the only large employer and they just laid off thirty people. Miserable timing so perhaps I will give them the grinch award. Regardless, the Christmas spirit is alive and well. All the best to you and yours this Christmas season and beyond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very difficult today for older towns to prosper, and those that depend on old industries are in the most jeopardy.

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful story, Arleen! It's good to know the spirit of Christmas is still alive and well in your town, in spite.. or maybe because... of what that nasty grinch tried to do.

    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas, and all the best in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lights of the town shine even brighter this year because of the determination of its people.

      May your holidays be wonderful, Susan, and be filled with the laughter of your grandchildren..

      Delete
  7. I'm so glad the Phoenix came back, bigger and stronger than ever! What a wonderful story about a community working together for a great cause! I hope the good-for-nothing Grinch quietly slithered away. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Arleen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have not found the Grinch yet; he is probably hiding in some dark hole, all alone.

      Happy Holidays to you and yours, Julie.

      Delete
  8. What a lovely story of the town coming together and creating a new and more fabulous phoenix, so that the grinch did not triumph. Poor sad lonely grinch, maybe he will learn and change his ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are all hoping that the grinch learned something and as in the the Dr. Seuss story, turned his life around.

      Delete
  9. This is a fabulous story. And has made me misty. Yay for the town and all the hearts which rebuilt the phoenix.
    And yes, I do feel sorry (a teeny bit) for the Grinch - but am glad that his efforts were foiled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a nice little town who has made a marvelous recovery and some mean spirited individual was not going to spoil their victory. We all hope that the person who did this bad deed is sorry for what he did and that he was inspired by what resulted.

      Merry Christmas, EC.

      Delete
  10. I love to hear tales of the rebirth of ailing villages/towns/etc. All it takes is determination, time, and effort. Unfortunately most prefer to wallow in self-pity. Well done those Pheonix folk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Determination, time, effort, and lots of money and a lot of luck can turn things around. Everybody is so happy that this worked.

      Have a wonderful holiday, Cro. I know you will enjoy all your tasty, traditional meals.

      Delete
  11. What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing. Happy Christmas to you and your family. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you liked it, Joanne.

      Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

      Delete
  12. A true Christmas story full of hope and joy. Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Made all the better because it is true.

      Have a wonderful holiday, Delores, and give wee man an extra hug from me.

      Delete
  13. Such a story of community and spirit! I hope that somewhere some miscreants are being discovered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a feeling tat they will catch the Grinch who burned the Phoenix down, but I hope that he is feeling some regret at his/her actions.

      Delete
  14. Arleen, Loved reading this post. I am always overjoyed when good wins. The community is amazing! Wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and your family. Hugs! Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is wonderful about small towns is their sense of community and their neighborly spirit.

      I am sure your Christmas will be wonderful, Bonnie, because of that new grandson that has entered your life this year.

      Delete
  15. Those folk who came forward showed the spirit that is good amongst us. And through their determination, and dedication, we should all be inspired by their will, their desire to not let the idiots in this world win. Good on them!

    Great post, Arleen. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas. And may 2015 be kind to us all and may the world be a better place than it has been in 2014. Best wishes to you from Down Under. Take good care. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lee. I do hope that 2015 will be kind to you also.

      Delete
  16. A wonderful story about the spirit of Christmas. May the Grinch rot you know where. As an asides: I recently learned about a town in Sweden, where they build a gigantic straw goat every year (he is one symbol of Christmas in Sweden) and for years now Grinches burn him down. I don't understand people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For every grinch, there are hundreds of good, kind people. Unfortunately, those that destroy get more attention than those who build up.

      Merry Christmas, Inger.

      Delete
  17. Greetings human, Arleen,

    A heartening story, despite it all. A defiance against a "Grinch". And yes, no pawhaps about it, a Grinch may well be calling out for love. A rather weird way to do it and yet it draws the spirit of community, ever closer.

    Pawsitive wishes and a happy Boxing Day Eve, arf, Christmas Day.

    Penny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day and my wishes for a good new year to you, Penny, and Gary also.

      Delete
  18. An inspiring tale. And thank you for reminding us that we can rise above misfortunes!

    I hope you have a lwonderful Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The human spirit can rise above everything. Wonderful blog. It gives me hope. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my such an inspiration!!! Have a wonderful Holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great resurgence for your town! And I loved the tale of the defeat of the nasty Grinch and the new Phoenix. I'm wishing you and your family a wonderful 2015!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just cried my eyes out. This is the best Christmas story this year. Joy to the Whos, wherever they be, for wherever they are, it is Christmas, times three.
    Happy New Year, Arleen. xo

    ReplyDelete
  23. 'It takes a Village', and when people come together, great things can be accomplished.

    Happy New Year to you, Laura, and to all those out there who believe in the goodness of the human spirit. I also wish that to all who don't, because life can be difficult but there is always hope that things can turn around.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If I don't get the chance
    Happy new year to you
    Jxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for a moment of hope and inspiration. Wishes for a happy and healthy 2015. Thanks so much for all of your visits. So enjoy when you stop by in Buttercupland.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm a late reader, but this story just made my day. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete