Another Christmas has come and gone, and we are all feeling the excitement that comes with a new year!
People ring in the new year in many different ways. I’ve heard that it is good luck to eat black eyed peas and sauerkraut for dinner that night; pork is also supposed to ensure a good start to the new year. But be careful! It’s either all or nothing with this one. You have to have a health helping of all three at once or the luck won’t stick.
While that’s all fine and dandy, I think I will just skip the pork and go straight to one of my own New Year’s Eve traditions: watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I know that it seems a little odd to watch a Christmas movie a couple of days late, but it’s just the way it happened. I find that the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas Day itself were just a little too busy for anyone to actually pay attention to a movie. Either way, I LOVE keeping this tradition alive!
For those of you who know about this movie, you also know that there are two versions. The first was released in 1966 as a TV special, and is a cartoon. The animation was done by Chuck Jones, and the narration and songs were performed by the booming Boris Karloff.
The more recent version of this movie was released in 2000 and stars Jim Carrey as the Grinch. This one is a live-action movie, and Carrey sings all of the Grinch’s songs himself. Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, and Jeffrey Tambor are also part of the cast, giving this film a lot of star power. Max the dog is a frequent character, and is my favorite character, in case you were wondering!
Both films focus on the very well-known plot points of the Grinch’s story: he’s grumpy and tries to ruin Christmas but fails and undergoes one of the most drastic character developments in all of cinema.
And all of these things do happen! However, the newer film has changed the Whos up a bit, as they are originally supposed to be unmaterialistic. In the cartoon, the Whos aren’t frantically trying to purchase presents and put up Christmas lights as they are in the live-action movie. In 1966, the Whos are focused on the love and community they share during the Christmas season. The 2000 version opens with all of Whoville in a tizzy, buying up presents and decorations in the busy town square.
Could this possibly be a representation of the evolution of the Christmas season? Of course, I can’t verify this; I’ve only seen 24 Christmases and have no idea what the Christmas spirit was like in ’66. But from what I’ve been told by those who were around at that time, the values have definitely changed. We’ve gone from appreciating our families and our belongings to always wanting more. But, as the movie says, Christmas spirit shouldn’t come from a store.
Watching this movie after Christmas makes me reflect on the season that has so nearly passed. Did my family outdo themselves this year? Or were we truly focused on our togetherness, the one thing that really matters?
Now that the new year is upon us, we can all look back and assess how we viewed our holiday and make 2018 about a little bit more.