How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Main Point of Discussion: We need to be rebels, loving those who are difficult to love.
The Movie Clip: “I nominate the Grinch!”
This classic Dr. Seuss tale was brought to the big screen with none other than Jim Carey playing the Grinch. This creative tale gives us a peek into the history of the Grinch, an outcast who was teased as a child by several mean kids during Christmas. (One of these little bullies grows up to be the mayor of Whoville.) As a result, the Grinch secludes himself in the mountains on the edge of town, hating people, and hating Christmas. The whole town now equally despises the Grinch to the extent that his name isn't even to be uttered during the holiday season.
Whoville is in for a surprise when a young girl named Cindy Lou sees something in the Grinch that no one else can see. She feels something that no one else feels for the despised outcast – she feels compassion. In this scene Cindy plans to act on her compassion at the annual “Whobilation” festival where the town gets together annually to nominate the “Whoville Holiday Cheermeister.”
Introducing the Clip:
Many of you have seen The Grinch. As soon as it was released back in 2000, it became an instant Christmas classic. Today we're going to watch a scene from The Grinch, that has little Cindy Lou trying to convince the people of Whoville to share some Christmas cheer with the Grinch. You'll see that it sometimes takes a bold person to make a move like this.
BEGIN CLIP AT 33 minutes and 28 seconds (Chapter 7).
- Cindy Lou: Dad, I've been thinking about the “Whobilation” and I may do something drastic.
(Cindy Lou’s dad and mom basically ignore her as they talk to each other, scurrying along to the Whobilation event.)
Mayor: And now the nominations for the whom-among-us who best typifies the qualities of whodom and whomonee … the Whoville Holiday Cheermeister! Do I hear a nomination?
Cindy Lou: I nominate the Grinch!
(Gasps are heard and the crowd looks horrified.)
Mayor: My, my. (to Cindy's dad) What an altruistic daughter you have there, Lou. (To Cindy) Cindy, let me quote a verse from The Book of Who. (His side kick hands him the Whoville bible, known as The Book of Who.) “The term Grinch he shall apply when Christmas spirit is in short supply.” Does that sound like the Holiday Cheermeister?
Cindy Lou: True, Mister Mayhoo, but the Book of Who says this too: “No matter how different a Who may appear he will always be welcome with holiday cheer.”
(The crowd watches the exchange between Cindy and the Mayor. The Mayor finally resorts to making up facts from The Book of Who to get his point across. Cindy objects.)
Cindy Lou: You made that up. It doesn't say that.
Mayor: No, no, no… it does.
Cindy: What page?
(The Mayor continues to fumble through the book and make excuses.)
Mayor: Uh… Ooops! Lost my, uh… my- my place, but it’s … It’s in here!
Cindy Lou: But the Book does say the Cheermeister is the one who deserves a backslap or a toast. And it goes to the soul at Christmas who needs it most. And I believe that soul is the Grinch. (Cindy turns to the people to talk with them) And if you’re the Whos I hope you are, you will too.
(Crowd murmurs in agreement.)
You know, sometimes it is really hard to be loving to certain people. It's really easy for us to notice those who deserve our love and compassion, but very difficult to actually target those who don't deserve it. Tonight we are going to talk about showing compassion to people who are more difficult to love.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we get started, let's go around the circle. Share your name and your favorite Christmas movie. Why is that your favorite?
- ASK A FEW: In the clip we saw, why do you think Cindy Lou decided to nominate the Grinch?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the town was so against having the Grinch as the Whomeister?
- ASK A FEW: Give me an example of people in this world that might be rejected by the crowds because they were or are different.
- ASK A FEW: How should we treat people that are different from us? What if they're not only different, but a total jerk?
Read the following passages:
Matthew 9:36 (NIV)
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Luke 19:1-10 (NIV)
…  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”  So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a “sinner…”
Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)
As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
 That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners.  The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” they asked his disciples.
 When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do.”  Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to be merciful; I don't want your sacrifices.' For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”
A lot of people in the church have learned the Bible verse John 3:16. Does anyone know John 3:17? It basically says that Jesus came into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it. The world doesn't need another critic, another person pointing their finger at others; the world needs people of compassion willing to act on their convictions and make a difference in someone's life. Your school is full of people who cut others down and make them feel alone and rejected. But how many people do you know that walk around building others up? Be a rebel. Don't be like everyone else. Build someone up.
Are you ready to do something drastic?
Close in Prayer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.