I love Christmas stories with happy endings, but alas, this story ends with a lump of coal in everyone’s Christmas stocking. Last year at about this time I told you all about the generosity of our hospital administrator, Mr. Grinch. He sent the hospital employees a letter last year, and this is what it said:

“Dear Valued Employees:

In the spirit of the holidays, the administrative staff of the most wonderful hospital in the world sends you Christmas greetings. And oh yes, by the way, since we’re not making a lot of money this year, you’re not getting your gift card and we are canceling the holiday party. It’s too expensive to show you how much we appreciate all of your hard work. And since we know that our employees have big hearts, we are offering payroll deduction so you can contribute your hard earned money to pay for gift cards that will be given to the 120 employees that we pay the least throughout the year. Have a Happy New Year!”

History is repeating itself. This is what Mr. Grinch wrote in this year’s Christmas card.

Dear Valued Employees
(notice how the guy still hasn’t learned our names):

This has been an exciting year at the Most Wonderful Hospital in the World. We have a brand-spanking new emergency room, and wide screen TVs in all of the patients’ rooms. Patients also have access to wireless Internet services from their rooms, and we have installed an expensive water fountain in our newly created serenity garden that you can go stare at when you are all stressed out. And let’s not forget about that new gourmet coffee bar we have in our new Hilton-styled front lobby. Yes sir, we rock! Unfortunately, all of those improvements have been very costly, and they didn’t entice new patients into coming to our hospital, so that means that you are not getting a Christmas bonus from the hospital this year. However, we encourage you to donate to a fund that we have created that will benefit our poorest employees. You may write a check, or you may donate to the fund through payroll deduction. See, we really do have a heart.

May God bless you and your family during this holiday season.

I went to work the next day after receiving the good news about our Christmas bonus, and I noticed that I was not the only employee who was upset by Mr. Grinch’s letter. I walked down to the new garden in search of serenity, and I noticed crumbled copies of the letter floating in Mr. Grinch’s new expensive water fountain.

Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. Grinch.