Weeks ago as I watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," I was amused at the clever antics Dr. Seuss used to convey a very important holiday message.

Even though the Grinch - with a heart two sizes too small - stole every decorated tree, present and can of Who-hash on Christmas Eve, every Who down in Who-ville rejoiced Christmas morning and sang - even without getting any presents.He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!

Somehow or other, it came just the same!

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

It came without packages, boxes or bags!

No one quite knew why the Grinch hated Christmas. Some believe his head wasn't screwed on just right or that his shoes were too tight, but most believed that his heart was too small.

I think I've heard of some people with loose heads and tight-fitting shoes. A look at the area's police reports is living proof that a number of Grinches are out there.

Last week in the parking lot of the University Mall, there was a fight between two people over parking. Way to feel the Christmas spirit! I guess a shopping trip to the mall is enough to make anyone hate Christmas.

Orem police have also reported thefts of Christmas lights off homes and an upsurge in bad checks.

Provo police spokesman George Pierpont said his department has seen an increase in shoplifting. Christmastime also brings with it a rash of bank robberies, he said. There have been two in Provo in the past two weeks.

That's when I ask, "to what extreme will we go to ruin someone's Christmas, and to what extreme will we go to provide our family and friends with a materialistic Christmas?" Sometimes we get so caught up in gift-giving that we forget the real reason for giving.

The Whos down in Who-ville didn't care about the tinsel, the trimmings, the ribbons and the wrap-pings. They had each other. They found the true spirit of gift-giving in giving of themselves.

I'm sure we all play the Grinch sometime. I'm a Grinch when I re-fuse to tolerate holiday traffic jams. Whenever I want to get somewhere fast, I wind up behind the slowest guy on the road.

It's not his fault that I planned poorly and only gave myself five minutes to go 15 miles. He is probably enjoying the holiday season a lot more than I am.

And so I've decided that it's time I stop and enjoy Christmas. We can't be too rushed. Now is the time to enjoy the holidays and really think about what Christmas is all about. We are celebrating the birth of a man, the Savior, who was one of the most patient, giving, loving and understanding men ever born.

So next time you head for the mall, try not to shove as much - and let someone merge into your lane when you are out dealing with traffic. Wouldn't that be a treat?

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."

"Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!"