Words that Permanently are Associated with Christmas

Dear Reader:

Isn’t it true that some writers create such memorable characters in literature that they remarkably take on an identity of their own?

If you look up the word “GRINCH” you notice it didn’t come into existence until Dr. Seuss wrote the story of a creature who hated Christmas…partly due to the size of his heart….2 and 1/2 times too small.

Grinch: a person who is mean-spirited and unfriendly.

Etymology: Merriman-Webster Dictionary

When Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, wrote the children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1957, he probably had no idea that in 20 years “grinch” would enter the general lexicon of English. Like Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge (whose name has become synonymous with “miser”), the Grinch changes his ways by the story’s end, but it’s the unreformed character who “hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!” who sticks in our minds. The ill-natured Grinch, with his heart “two sizes too small,” provides us with a lively symbol of someone we love to hate, and his name has thus come to refer to any disgruntled grump who ruins the pleasure of others.

To this day, whenever I have those unfortunate situations where I have to make small talk at a social situation, across from a stranger who does nothing but complain the whole evening away, I think of the “Grinch” and secretly smile.

I chastise myself for letting the person get me down too…and instead I try to build up some compassion for this whiny, complaining individual whose one pleasurable goal in life is to bring others down to his/her own unhappy state.

I simply picture the Grinch with his small heart, grin inwardly and not allow myself to get “grinched” away by another. Remember: “Never let anybody steal your joy!” (not even a Mr. or Ms. Grinch!)

Our second word today goes straight into the dictionary, also, from another memorable character from Christmas literature….SCROOGE!

Scrooge: A stingy person with money


A scrooge is a person who is stingy with money: scrooges would rather do anything than part with a buck. The novels of Charles Dickens have contributed more than a dozen words that found their way into everyday language. Scrooge, the chief character from A Christmas Carol, is perhaps the best-known of them all.

Auld Lang Syne, the Scottish expression that Robert Burns gave us in  prose, is typically recognized as the expression most sung at New Year’s Eve around the world… yet no one actually knows the lyrics very well to it.

On the  Koda and Kathi Lee Gifford Show yesterday…they were giving away a hundred dollars to anyone in the crowd who knew the meaning behind the expression…no one won.

The actual expression means:

“Auld Lang Syne” is the title and key phrase of a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns, typically sung on New Years Eve around the world. The phrase “auld lang syne” literally translates to “old long since,” and basically means, “days gone by.” The original, five-verse version of the poem essentially gets people singing, “lets drink to days gone by”—an appropriate toast for the New Year.

So until tomorrow…  Once again….our theme of time returns in this expression….”days gone by”.... a time to remember the past and even though 2018 was medically  challenging I will remember the overwhelming kindness bestowed on me by so many wonderful people. From the bottom of my heart I thank you!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Jo…thank you thank you thank you! I, especially, waited until today to unwrap your present…I wanted to savor the moment and keep the beautiful wrapped gift under the Christmas tree as long as I could.

After my brother left I promptly fell into a deep sleep…not waking until to around 2:00! And there it was the last package under the tree…when I opened it up I squealed with excitement…the most beautiful butterfly solar lantern! A symbol of new life…renewed, re-energized, and flying solo again with my new “wing wheels!”

Joan Turner called me yesterday….at first I missed her call…but later when I walked to the mailbox…I found a large manila envelope… with not just the annual Christmas card (which I look forward to and love each holiday season) but two more beautiful paintings of glass bottles and the eternal hope of spring…along with a Hope book marker.

Thank you Joan so much! I know this year is bittersweet with the passing of Lucy, the mother dog. But what a joyful fun scene this is…a light shining for mom, in remembrance, hanging down from the little deer’s antlers!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Words that Permanently are Associated with Christmas

  1. Joan says:

    You are welcome Becky…I think you are the only one
    Who understood what the pink bulb stood for. I sure
    Miss my Lucy! I am so happy your package
    Finally arrived. Also wanted to tell you, you posted
    a photo last summer I think of your bottle
    Tree that I thought it was so pretty so that is what I tried
    To paint. ❤️


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I immediately saw the meaning in both of the paintings….that Lucy left her light to shine on them and help them one day follow in suit. The bottle tree is so beautiful…you caught the idea of the sun gleaming through the bottle and casting colored shadows around it. You are so talented. Hope you had a merry Christmas and that you soon come visit again. Happy New Year. (Let’s make a pact…no more foot problems in 2019…not fun!!!!)


  3. Joan turner says:

    Thank you Becky…I certainly would appreciate that!


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    When is your next procedure on the other foot Joan?


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