Perhaps someone has confused our lovely city of Elkins with one as equally picturesque: Whoville. It appears there is a Grinch afoot, and he or she is trying to steal Christmas from our downtown.
First, Frosty the snowman - an animated decoration that tips its hat - was taken from the area of lighted displays behind Elkins Depot. Then, some of the lollipop decorations adorning tree boxes lining downtown streets were damaged.
To say this is disheartening is an understatement. Downtown business owner Elaine Griesel has spearheaded the campaign to beautify Elkins with the spirit of the holidays. She has worked to secure funding for the lighted decorations, and many private individuals and local businesses - including The Inter-Mountain - have contributed to this effort.
The displays were put up for the enjoyment of area residents and tourists alike. Those who have come together for this project are like the merry, warm-hearted Whos from Dr. Seuss' beloved children's story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"
Unfortunately, there are other individuals in this world who, like the Grinch, appear to have hearts "two sizes two small." We don't like it, we tell you. We don't like it at all.
We realize such theft and vandalism aren't unique to our region. If anything, we should consider ourselves lucky this season.
Police in Huntington earlier this week made an arrest in a case where a figurine of baby Jesus was stolen from a local nativity. The decoration was recovered, but only after it had been defaced.
The Herald-Dispatch reported the damage as follows:
"The markings included an upsidedown cross, an anarchy symbol, the number '666,' and the phrase 'I hate your God' on the figurine's backside. Other markings were found on the front, with stitching marks on its forearms and nail marks on both hands.
"The figurine's eyes also were blackened, with ram horns on each side of its head and other markings on the face. More offensive marks were placed on its chest and groin."
It's hard to fathom how someone could do such a thing. It's even more difficult to determine how to stop this type of behavior. Maybe Dr. Seuss had the right idea about how to effect positive change.
When faced with something so sad, such a heinous crime, perhaps it makes sense to address it with a rhyme.
How mean and so cruel,
These actions were utterly evil.
Such deeds must have been done by cowards
Lower than a weasel.
So you want to take our trinkets
And break some of our stuff.
To the vandals and thieves we say:
"Enough is enough."
Though our hearts may be heavy,
And our disappointment a weight.
You can't stop this season,
Or what makes it so great.
Christmas is a feeling.
It can't be bought or sold.
It's about giving and receiving,
Not adornments of silver and gold.
So we, here in Elkins,
Like the Whos of make-believe,
Will keep the spirit of the season.
And give contrite Grinches a reprieve.
We encourage anyone who either was involved in these crimes or has information about them to contact Elkins City Police at 304-636-0678.