Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Well, everywhere but the charming state of Minnesota, which has turned into one giant green Grinch of late. In the lovely and seemingly anti-Christ-oriented village of St. Anthony, a resident received a scathing, shaming letter for possessing a happy attitude. From the self-anointed powers that be (a neighbor) claiming the homeowner’s twinkle lights were offensive, here is a smidgen of the debasing missive:
“The idea of twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of divisions that continue to run through our society, a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can’t afford to put up lights of their own. We must do work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward-facing display like yours can have.”
Are you serious? People line up in their cars, sipping hot chocolate, and drive through neighborhoods to see holiday lights: It makes the populace happy. It’s beautiful, and so much so that network television shows have contests for the best lights and displays. But now, some whiner in St. Anthony wants to make the Baby Jesus cry all over again.
St. Anthony: Whoville or Hellville?
As the Grinch’s song reminds us, the monsters “have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,” and that’s just the beginning. If tearing down twinkling, optimistic, and joyful displays plunges happy folks to the miserable folks’ sub-basement level, is that not the wrong direction? Should we instead illuminate everyone in the ‘hood? Light up the Menorah or the Kwanzaa kinara. This time of year is spiritually significant for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and even Buddhists, pagans, and Zoroastrians. Is there anything more life-affirming than Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice by running naked through the woods drunk on mead?
No one should be sanctioned for a joyous – non-violent – expression of faith and belief. Let the little lights shine. Because if we take this to the same ridiculousness as St. Anthony, what will be next?
Let’s do away with the fancy sports cars, the monolithic SUVs, the BMW convertibles. A Mercedes? Hell no, you cannot have a Mercedes and drive it in front of the have-nots. No more Guccis, no more wearing of designer duds. OH MY GOD, no more Chucks! Gray, dreary tenement housing for everyone! Is that what Americans want? Or perhaps just the Grinch in St. Anthony, MN.
Even former football great Derek Anderson weighed in on social media, saying he saw this coming “a long time ago.” He continued to rant that green-eyed monsters rear up occasionally, embittered and screaming, “If I can’t have it, nobody can” or “If they have it, we all deserve it.”
Dah Who Doraze, Dammit
The citizens in St. Anthony are having a hard time digesting not the eggnog but the attitudes plaguing their small community. Add another string of twinkles to the eaves, put another crazy blow-up snowman in the yard, and light the streets in true Clark Griswold fashion. Find that anonymous letter writer and string his house, tent, car, or underpass with colorful, flickering incandescent bulbs. If indeed the residence is an underpass, also bring food and peppermint schnapps.
Enough already with the grumpy grunts who rain hell on everyone’s parade. As the residents of Whoville sang Dah Who Doraze to welcome Christmas Day, even the Grinch finally got what he wanted for Christmas: a bigger heart and new friends. Instead of allowing the Grinch to bring them down to a spiteful level of envy, the citizens of Whoville lifted him up instead. That neighbor in St. Anthony might want to watch the Dr. Seuss movie and learn a thing or two about acceptance and sharing. In a world of Grinches this year, for God’s sake, be a Cindy Lou Who.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.