Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Holiday Cheermeister This Year

I am the only one I know of in the world who prefers the motion picture How the Grinch Stole Christmas over the cartoon version of Dr. Seuss's Grinch. The reason I enjoy the movie so much is that it works on multiple levels, appealing to children and providing good laughs for the older set, too. It is like Sesame Street (sans "Elmo's World"), which I find thoroughly entertaining.

And I identify with Jim Carrey's Grinch, who is more than just a one-dimensional "mean one." I can connect with his frustration with the avarice and materialism of the season as well as his cynicism about the pretty package that the vice of seasonal greed comes wrapped in. Moreover, even at his worst, you still sense with Cindy Lou Who that there is warmth and openness underneath Grinchy's hardened silo, just waiting for a catalyst to launch that charm.

I would rather read Dr. Seuss's book and look at the pictures therein than watch the cartoon. The cartoon is about as seasonally significant for me as is listening to 80's bubble-yum band Wham! sing Last Christmas. That's a void of significance.

But it looks like we are going to have our first Christmas without Ron Howard's film this year. We slipped the DVD in for the fifth or sixth Christmas running last night and our youngest went ballistic as soon as the previews came on. She ran around the room shrieking "I don't like Dr. Seuss! I don't like Dr. Seuss!" She dashed over to me and hid her tear-streaked face in my ribs, shouting her fear of Dr. Seuss into the muffle of my shirt. We were floored. We never saw this coming. So, unless I stay up late and sneak the DVD in myself for my holiday fix, I won't be getting to see the Grinch this year. This is not pudding.

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