Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Rating: 5 stars

I'm not sure if there's a more iconic holiday book than How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I was lying awake last night thinking of this book (and way too many other things...thank you, insomnia) and how kids really need to be familiar with it, for cultural literacy's sake.  They need to be able to catch the references in their middle and older years.  If not, they'll be like the girl in my sophomore English class who had never heard of Star Wars before That Day in class when her innocent "Star Wars?  What's that?" received a not-so-polite barrage of sarcastic answers.  Her parents earned a few demerits for being that strict with TV.

Just in case that gal in English class is reading and doesn't know the story: the Grinch is a loveable villain who wants to stop Christmas from happening in Who-ville.  He dresses up like Santa Claus, and, with the help of his funnily pathetic mutt Max, visits all the homes in Who-ville.  Instead of dropping off presents and good tidings, he steals all their gifts and decorations and even the last log on their fire!

When he has collected everything, he heads to the nearest cliff.  He's about to push over every last bit of it when he hears loud, vibrant singing from Who-ville that alerts him to the fact that the Christmas spirit lives on despite the lack of presents and decorations and logs.  The Grinch's heart grows in size and he returns to the village to return the Christmas packages and join in the festivities.

Of course we parents are familiar with the Grinch spirit, too.  I admit I am.  I am overwhelmed by all the noise and the stuff and want to grumble along through the whole month of December, and I think pretty Grinchy thoughts about the ohmygoshsohighsoshighSOHIGHSOSOSOSOHIGH levels of excitement of my kids.

But then I stop.  How can I get annoyed by excitement?  Am I that lame of a muggle?!

So here's a list of things that get me less-Grinch-like and more excited about the holidays.  (Feel free to add some of your own in comments section...comments make my day!)

  • Baking Christmas cookies (then letting the boys use the dustbuster to suck up the zillion sprinkles that didn't make it onto the cookies)
  • Taking a carriage ride at the nearby Reston Town Center (haven't done it yet but plan to!)
  • Going ice skating...or, if you're a kid, learning how to ice skate for the first time
  • Wrapping a few gifts for the kids, reading any and all books before they get wrapped
  • Starting a fire (or watching our kids hand my husband logs while he starts one), and watching the kids mesmerized by the flame
  • Going to my sister's house--she manages to out-holiday me every time, but her decorations and spirit inspire me
  • Drinking a cup of Celestial Seasonings seasonal teas (Candy Cane Lane is what I'm sipping now)
  • Putting on the one Christmas album I have...Elvis!

Moral of the story: Don't be a Grinch.  And when you feel a little Grinch-y, go play with your kids.  They'll un-Grinch-ify you in a jiffy.

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