Point of No Return — Christmas icons grab some national headlines

Date Published: 
Dec. 22, 2017

Christmas is, to say the least, a mixed bag.

Obviously, there are the religious connotations and traditions of the holiday, focusing on the miraculous birth of Christ, and the dawning of the age of Christianity. It is a time for Christians to evaluate their own lives and determine if they are indeed exemplifying the generosity and kindness exhibited by Jesus, and to celebrate the de facto creation of a religious movement that still today fills so many people’s lives with love.

And, of course, there is also the commercial aspect of Christmas, and the near-equal idolatry of capitalism that permeates so much of the holiday season. There is a mad rush to buy and spend, beginning as soon as the last bite of mashed potatoes from our Thanksgiving dinners go down our gullets and often culminating with last-second purchases at a WaWa for those gifts that might have slipped through the cracks.

We often save all year, clip coupons, monitor sales online and whittle down our credit card balances over the course of the previous 11 months so we can spend as much money as possible on the holiday, and then we suffer in silence for the next several months, subsisting on cereal and leftover Christmas cookies until we can start to get our finances back to a point where we can...

But I digress.

Sorry, the holidays can be a little much sometimes. It feels like there just aren’t enough minutes in the day to do everything we need to get done before Christmas is upon us, and then we’re left with no money once we get there. Christmas used to be a time of wonder and magic, when Rudolph flew majestically through the sky in my dreams, as opposed to images of bill-collectors dancing in my head.

And there you have it. Christmas, as far as the commercial and general holiday trappings go, is a young person’s game.

I watch my own daughter now, 3 years old and visibly shaking with excitement over the prospect of Santa Claus entering her home with a sack full of presents. I’m already a little giddy about watching her rip through wrapping paper on Christmas morning like she’s searching for the golden ticket to Wonka-world, and she’s been watching some of the old classics with me building up to the big day. She’s a pretty big fan of Frosty, is a great admirer of all things Charlie Brown and, well, as far as the Grinch goes... she is not feeling that.

I guess it didn’t occur to me that the Grinch was pretty scary for a little kid, largely because I don’t remember all that much about being a kid. But, I assure you, the Grinch is pretty darn scary to my little one. And she’s not alone.

CBS shared a story on their website earlier this week about TyLon Pittman, a 5-year-old boy in Mississippi who is a great fan of Christmas. But, like my daughter, Pittman did not enjoy watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for the first time.

Pittman was so concerned about the Grinch ruining Christmas, according to the story, that he told his mother last Saturday that he had called 911 in hopes of getting the Grinch arrested before the big day.

“You better not have,” said his mother, TeResa Pittman, assuming he was joking.

About an hour later, there was a knock on their door.

“I’m looking for a little boy who was watching ‘The Grinch,’” said Officer Lauren Develle of the Byram Police Department. “He called to say the Grinch is going to steal his Christmas.”

The Pittmans invited Develle into their home, and Tylon showed her a YouTube clip featuring the Grinch.

Tylon was adamant that the police arrest the Grinch before he could ruin the holiday, and Develle went right along with him.

“The Grinch is not going to come steal your Christmas,” said Develle. “I’m not going to let that happen.”

On Monday night, the police department invited TyLon to the station to help them put the Grinch behind bars. Along with Develle and Chief Luke Thompson, TyLon helped lock up (a costumed) Grinch, got a tour of the station, a seat in the front of a police car and his own copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Here’s guessing TyLon Pittman has a much more stress-free Christmas now, thanks to the Byram Police Department.

The Grinch was not the only high-profile Christmas icon to find himself behind bars this holiday season.

An article on foxnews.com shared how the St. Helens Police Department in Oregon wanted to amp up awareness of their crack-down on drunk driving during the Christmas season. The department decided to “arrest” Abominable T. Snowman for charges of DUI and reckless driving, and share it on their social media venues. The arresting officer? Honorary Patrol Officer Claus.

Images showed Officer Claus fingerprinting Snowman, and the subject sitting by himself in a jail cell.

“Impaired driving has become an increasingly dangerous occurence in St. Helens during the winter holiday season,” said Sgt. Jose Castilleja. “Our goal is simple — to deter people from driving after they’ve been drinking or using drugs, including marijuana, in order to save lives.”

Well, here’s hoping that effort works for St. Helens, and that the national media attention of their efforts helps lessen the amount of impaired drivers everywhere this Christmas season.

As for the rest of you, it is a pleasure to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, and I offer you nothing but the best of wishes for a happy new year.

Drive safe, and avoid large green Grinches.