Opinion: How the Grinch (saved) Christmas

It seems as if the outcasted Who with some furry, green fur embodied the holiday spirit all along.

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Opinion: How the Grinch (saved) Christmas

The Grinch balloon floats down Central Park West during the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Manhattan, N.Y.  (James Keivom/New York Daily News/TNS)

The Grinch balloon floats down Central Park West during the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Manhattan, N.Y. (James Keivom/New York Daily News/TNS)

New York Daily News

The Grinch balloon floats down Central Park West during the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Manhattan, N.Y. (James Keivom/New York Daily News/TNS)

New York Daily News

New York Daily News

The Grinch balloon floats down Central Park West during the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Manhattan, N.Y. (James Keivom/New York Daily News/TNS)

Emily Creery, Columnist

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Way up on Mount Crumpit, away from the Whos, lives a furry, green man with a case of the blues. Answering the Grinch, even his name invokes a flinch — but is his heart really two sizes too small or was it the people who made his spirits fall?

OK, Dr. Seuss may have just rolled in his grave, but the holiday season is upon us. It only seems appropriate to discuss one of the most iconic characters currently gracing our screens.

However, I want to forgo the feel-good redemption arc that we’ve seen in the original 1966 film, the iconic Jim Carrey version, and last year’s rendition voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Grinch is never the villain, but merely a man who becomes a little bitter after being bullied into exile — living in a cave next to the town dump — as an 8-year-old child. He continues to question the holiday cheer that oozes from Whoville because, to be honest, the town’s version of Christmas is nothing but a byproduct of consumer capitalism.

As the Grinch says, “The avarice never ends! I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored, and sell it to make glue. Look, I don’t wanna make waves, but this whole Christmas season is stupid, stupid, stupid!”

Although tough to hear as we wait in line on Thanksgiving Day to buy a bunch of stuff that no one actually needs — elbowing the woman after the same 739-inch television — the Grinch has a point.

He never really hated Christmas, right? He’s simply fed up with people and decided to finally do something about it. I mean, the whole stealing Christmas shenanigan is really just his way of getting across the notion that the season is more than packages, boxes, and tags — it’s about love.

If it weren’t for the Grinch, the Whos would take out a second mortgage for their blum bloopers and jing tinglers. Martha May would have an affair because she’s miserably married to the Mayor. And Cindy Lou Who, on her worst day, would be involved with a bunch of snobs on the Upper East Side of New York City.

He did all of this from the bottom of his tiny heart, and the Whos had the nerve to cast him aside like yesterday’s hazardous waste. But the Grinch didn’t let that stop him, always looking on the bright side.

To use another Grinch-ism, “One man’s toxic sludge is another man’s potpourri.”

So, this Christmas season, as you make your lists and empty out your pocketbooks, remember the Grinch in all of his green glory. Society has manipulated him into the before-and-after trope of holiday hoopla, but it seems pretty clear that the man who sat alone eating glass (talking to himself) had it right all along.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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