I may be a serious teacher in training, but nothing makes me happier than to act like a kid again, especially during the holiday season. During this time of year, most people (excluding Scrooges) revert back to their childhood as they put up shiny decorations and watch their favorite Christmas specials. Though I’m unwilling to walk through the Christmas section at Target in October, there is one green guy that never fails to capture my Christmas spirit all year round – the Grinch! I’m not talking about the recent Jim Carrey version; I’m head over heels in love with the original cartoon version narrated by Boris Karloff that I remember watching with my parents as I curled up in my red and green pajamas. The Grinch, and how he stole Christmas, is an essential part of my family’s holiday tradition.
My mom used to play the “Welcome Christmas” song on the piano for me when I was 5 and I still, at age 25, remember every single word! If you need a little reminder here’s a great link to jog your memory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKagQWqr87Q. When I say I asked my mom to play this song all the time, I mean that it was the middle of April and I was begging her to play it for me – I loved it that much.
When I was younger, I loved hearing the silly rhymes throughout the cartoon such as “the Who’s down in who-ville, the tall and the small” because they were so easy to follow. I didn’t realize until my education training the skill involved in conveying so much meaning using only a few rhyming words. And here I thought I couldn’t love the Grinch more! One of the most memorable moments for me in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was when all the Who’s stood around the town Christmas tree without presents or decorations because I couldn’t imagine a Christmas without those traditions.
Unfortunately for my two dogs, my absolute favorite scene is when the Grinch ties antlers onto the head of his dog Max and his head slowly droops to the ground under their weight! Since the first time I ever watched the Grinch, I have begged my parents to let me put antlers on my dogs because I wanted them to be exactly like that crazy, fun-loving Max. It’ll happen one day!
It’s also been a dream of mine to be tucked into bed on Christmas Eve like Cindy Lou Who complete with a candy cane – I’ve always been fascinated that a little girl was allowed to have candy at bedtime! Though I never received my bedtime candy cane, I would sneak out of my room in my little nightgown, just like Cindy Lou did to get a drink of water, to check if Santa has eaten our cookies. Unfortunately, I would make it to the end of the hallway before I was politely, yet firmly, escorted back to bed by the one parent who hadn’t finished wrapping my presents.
Now that I’m older, and find the stress of the holiday closing in as I trudge through the mall buying gifts, I just remember that big-hearted green Grinch and know that a smile is on my face. After all, what is Christmas all about? It’s about setting free the inner child. All deadlines, holiday traffic, stress, and the terrible snowy weather suddenly fall away, and I am back to giggling at the nonsensical words Dr. Seuss created that allows my inner child to come out to play. Maybe the reason why “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is so popular is that it brings out the child inside all of us. But at the same time, it teaches us a valuable lesson:
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
This post was brought to you by Nicole McCann, a future secondary English Teacher. Here’s a little more info (in her own words) about this dedicated future professional:
I began my education at Penn State with a B.A in English, but have since chosen to pursue a secondary education degree at Slippery Rock University. Since switching gears from appreciating language to teaching it, I find myself unable to stop thinking about ideas for classroom use. I am currently learning and discussing education on any and all levels—both the theoretical and the classroom aspects. I will be graduating with an M.A. in education in 2010, with future plans of being a secondary English teacher.