Feeling Grinchy

the_grinch.jpgI read The Grinch to Zack’s first grade class yesterday. This has become an annual tradition for me; ever since the kids were in nursery school I’ve gone into their classrooms wearing collar and Santa hat to read this seasonal Seussian classic. I even use my old copy — the one my father used to read to me. It has my name written on the inside cover in a very early, yet not entirely successful, attempt at penmanship. My favorite classroom encounter took place when Ben was in kindergarten. I walked in to read and one of Ben’s classmates looked up at me and asked in wide-eyed wonder, “Are you Hanukkah Harry?” Ummm. No.

To me The Grinch is really a Christian parable — it’s a story of conversion, repentance, and forgiveness. Or at least I started seeing these themes the year I had to read it every night for three months. Pitchers and catchers had reported for Spring Training and I was still reading about all the Whos down in Who-ville.

But I didn’t mind. It erased the other memory I have of the Grinch. At my college fraternity some of my brothers had turned the television version into a drinking game. You drink every time you hear the word “Who.” Which is a lot.

Seuss’ underlying message never goes out of style in our raging Christmas-industrial complex: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Indeed it does.


One Comment on “Feeling Grinchy”

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the rich underpinning in this tale of conversion. It’s interesting how many of the secular classic “Christmas stories” have that note: Miracle on 34th St., Dickens’ Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife, etc. Once a year our culture seems to “get it” — but then, sadly, for-gets it… Well, joy of the season anyway.

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