One can definitely argue that Christmas is the most nostalgic of all the annual holidays. This may be because as adults, we want to recreate the joy and excitement from our childhoods when there was nothing as exciting as the sight of presents under the tree. During the holiday season, many of us stick to certain Christmas traditions that are often passed down to us. For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a massive dinner on Christmas Eve, the scent of baked goods, and the sound of my dad talking to my relatives in Italy through the telephone or through FaceTime.
We all have our favourite go-to Christmas movies – mine is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. No one seems to know why the Grinch stole Christmas, but we know how he did it. If by the odd chance, you are not familiar with the Dr. Seuss holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, here is a brief overview:
The Grinch tries to ruin Christmas by stealing all of the presents and decorations from the Whos down in Whoville. However, once Christmas morning arrives, the Whos continue singing gleefully and spreading holiday cheer. This perplexes the Grinch and he realizes the importance of Christmas: joining together as family and friends.
Here are three things that the Grinch has taught me about the holiday season.
- The true meaning of Christmas: The beauty of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is that it punctures the concept of materialism without turning it into a solely religious lesson-learned. The point that is driven home in the film, is not that the decorations, food and gifts that the Grinch steals are unimportant, but rather they are not what Christmas is made of. Christmas isn’t about sleigh bells, lollipops, roast beef, Christmas trees, or gifts. Christmas comes without ribbons, packages, boxes or bags. All you need throughout the holiday season is family and happiness. The older you get, the more you start to realize that the things you want for Christmas cannot be bought or placed under a tree.
- Transformation: The Grinch goes through a marvelous transformation from being this cruel, Christmas-despising brute to a very thoughtful and indulgent character. Beneath his supposedly evil self was a lonely fellow who just needed to be loved. This leads to the literal growth of his heart. This taught me that anyone who is as cold-hearted as Mr. Grinch can change with a little optimism and love. Changing yourself for the better is always a plus.
- Community: The Whos live in solidarity and celebration and overcome the mischievous Grinch. They get over the lack of Christmas trees, decorations and presents without fuss, because the Grinch hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming, it came! As a community, they came together despite the differences in age or opinion and enjoyed a festive, peaceful meal. Even without the commercial material items to mark the arrival of Christmas, the Whos go outside, they join hands and they sing because they recognize what they do have. They have love, and that is enough.
Even if we sometimes forget these lessons learned from the Grinch and his Whoville friends, it is still something to look forward to during the holiday season.
One of the main reasons why I absolutely adore this film is not because it recalls a simpler or a happier time within my childhood, but because it reminds me that the holiday season is so much more than buying and spending. It is about spending time with my family, catching up with friends, and spreading happiness.
I encourage all of you to revisit this glorious movie from the past, or watch it for the first time, and let your heart grow a few sizes too big.
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant News Editor