The Grinch did learn a valuable lesson: Christmas comes without ribbons, tags, packages, boxes, or bags. It doesn't come from a store. "As long as we have hands to clasp," runs the song in the video version. It implies that the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of family and community.
So is that what we are celebrating when we celebrate Christmas? Family? Friends? Communities? Peace? Love? Giving and generosity? All those are wonderful things. But, what if I had no family? or friends? What if my community were torn by strife and hatred? What if I had nothing to give? Where do these good things come from?
I think Charlie Brown learns a deeper message. Linus recites:
Charles Schultz got it right. The Savior and His divine mission is what gives meaning to the holiday season. He is the "true vine," the source of all those good things we enjoy at Christmas. We celebrate Him and His divine mission.
And there were in the same country shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men."
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.