17 Dec, 2010
Thinking about the lessons that the Grinch taught us.
My latest piece at SavvyMom is Sharing is Caring.
How can we show our kids that giving is important, especially during a season that is all about stuff?
We watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas the other night. We watch it every year, and read the story aloud every Christmas Eve.
What I admire most about Dr. Seuss (other than his ability to make up wonderful words and present them so lyrically) is his ability to drill deeply down into the things that make us human and lay it all out in terms that even children can understand. And although many of his books (consider Horton Hears a Who for example) may be written for children, actually contain some fairly critical commentary.
What about the Grinch? It was written in 1957 at a time when the majority of Americans were church-goin’ folk. How different we are today. Yet somehow Dr. Seuss created a memorable poem that has endured (with the help of TV and film of course) and hits upon something meaningful without sounding preachy or religious.
The irony here of course is that when we watch it on TV, the program is flanked by commercials telling us to
What’s a little bit of debt if you can purchase the sky?
So your credit card is melting, what’s the big deal?
So what if your bank statement will cause you to squeal,
or to sob,
and curse Uncle Bob, who bought you a sweater you just want to lob
out the window,
Oh please don’t buy me more
Stuff I don’t need.
(Ha. I’m no Dr. Seuss.)
If someone was to ask me what my favourite lines were from How the Grinch Stole Christmas it would be hard for me to pick, although I do love the scene when he finally figures it out. (It hits upon the senses doesn’t it? The cold feet, the sore puzzler, the thinking and thinking):
“And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
It’s such a great read-aloud. But the question is, do we practice what we preach?
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