I’ve really tried not to be, but I can’t help it.

For the past several years, in the midst of all the ‘ho-ho-ho’ and holiday cheer, I find myself not the least bit ‘ho-ho-ho-ish’ and severely lacking in the cheer department.

In fact, I find myself more than a little bit grinchy.

At first, I felt rather guilty about my grinchy self, and I tried my best to hide it from the world (and from those big over-grown ‘kids’ at home who still expect Santa to come on Christmas Eve!)

After all, as a Christian my joy and cheer during the Christmas season should come from my deep belief in the real meaning of the holiday, and I try to focus on the birth of the Savior instead of the spend-fest that the holiday has become.

But when I see all the hustle and bustle, all the commercialism and ‘got-to-have-it-ism’, I get grinchier by the minute.

When I go in a store and elbow my way through the crowds to buy those things that my children and grandchildren don’t need and won’t remember getting by February, I begin to see that familiar green tint glowing on my skin.

When I see the whole world in shopping malls spending themselves into a huge mountain of debt – not simply because they want to give gifts, but in many cases because they feel obligated – I feel those long, pointy fingers bursting out of my gloves.

And when I watch the news stories about people getting trampled to death in the big box stores, all because they have to have the latest gadget or toy that is all the rage this year, I feel particularly green and grinchy.

But this year, as I watched my skin turn that ugly shade once again in late November, I thought that maybe my grinchy-ness will turn out like that fairy tale does in the end.

Maybe if I look down from my grinch-cave long enough, I’ll see all the Whos in Who-ville actually celebrating Christmas as it should be after all.

But just what would the Grinch find if he looked down at the Who-villes scattered across America today?

Would there be any evidence that Christmas is more than just a time for tinsel and lights and shopping for unneeded gifts that we can’t afford?

If he took away all those trees and trappings, all the toy trains and bicycles, all the iPads® and brand new four-wheelers, would he see any evidence of holiday cheer?

If he stuffed that last tree up the chimney and took that last bit of Who-hash from our over-stuffed refrigerators, would there be even one little Cindy-Loo-Who that would still find reason to celebrate?

Would our kids hold our hands and sing with us on Christmas morning if there were no presents under the tree, no ultra-expensive electronic gadgets in their stockings, and fewer than five pairs of designer jeans all wrapped up in ribbons and bows?

If the Grinch took away all the secular Christmas trappings, would the Whos’ still see the true Christmas treasure?

As I write this column in the days before Christmas, I am finally beginning to feel a little less ‘green’, a little more festive, and a little more in the holiday spirit.

When I sing those traditional Christmas hymns at church and hear the beloved familiar story from the second chapter of Luke, and when I see the few remaining references to the true meaning of Christmas, I feel the ‘Joy-to-the-World’ attitude coming on – just in the nick of time.

But when I look and see the commercialized, secular spend-fest that Christmas has become, I still feel a little grinchy underneath.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Dee Ann Campbell is publisher of The Choctaw Sun-Advocate, in Gilbertown, Alabama, a conservative speaker, and the co-author, with her daughter, Kristen Campbell, of “That’s Crap and You Know It: How to raise conservative kids to stand up against liberalism”, published by X-Libris Press.