by Sean Kuffler
Traditions are important. Through the years people either inherit traditions from their families or use their imaginations to create their own.
My Christmas tradition looks like this: eat as many Christmas oranges as possible, place as many decorations on my Christmas tree as possible and, most importantly, watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Now, most people would say that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a holiday classic. I would have to disagree. It’s the single greatest movie OF ALL TIME!
My infatuation with the Grinch started early. At the ripe and gullible age of five, I was introduced to the Grinch. I immediately became infatuated with him – and his theme song! I soaked up everything, from beginning to end. The idea of the Grinch not having a heart and his unlikely survival was a magical thought to me. His transformation from an absolute terror to the Whos in Whoville to their Christmas hero was an inspiration.
By Christmas Eve my obsession with the Grinch had reached an all-time high. I’d already watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas at least 14 times!
Naturally, I decided to emulate him.
As soon as everyone was sleeping, I began to execute my plan.
Step one was a no-brainer. In order to be the Grinch, I had to look like the Grinch. Easy. A quick look-through the art drawer helped me find the permanent green marker I was going to need.
Step two was a little trickier: steal the presents. How could I trick Santa into dropping off the presents while I was still awake? I realized I could just use the same plan I’d used every year – fake being asleep until I was sure he’d made the drop-off! Then I could sneak out of bed, steal the presents, place them all in the garage (my temporary operating base), and wait! Given that I had previous experience faking sleep to trick Santa, I was feeling pretty confident.
I crawled into bed and waited and waited. After what felt like a year, I heard it. The faint sound of hooves on the roof. Santa had arrived! I heard laughter (oddly similar to my father’s). I heard the crinkling of paper as Santa placed presents under the tree. Then silence. I waited another five minutes to be sure, and then walked to the living room, where all the presents were waiting. I quickly took the gifts to the garage, where I would store them until morning.
I’d done it. I’d stolen Christmas flawlessly.
Step three: go to sleep and save Christmas in the morning, then carve my Christmas goose.
I woke up early in the morning to laughter. I was confused to find my brother and sister standing over me. My mother and father were also there, not laughing and directing looks of terror towards me.
I was still green. I’d forgotten about that. But I didn’t regret my decision as it was (clearly) essential to my plan.
My new skin color was soon forgotten once step two was discovered.
Again, I received looks of terror from my parents. But there was less laughter from my siblings this time around.
This was it. It was time to save Christmas!
Being the clever child that I was, I quickly suggested, “Maybe Santa put the presents in the garage?” and proceeded to quickly run to the garage to get the presents. (I know, I know.)
When I ran back to the house, I didn’t get the cheer or round of applause from my family that I was expecting. I was confused to, once again, hear laughter. But this time my parents were laughing, too!
I was too young to realize that my family had seen through my diabolical plot. And while my plan might have failed, I did not. I’d contributed a memory to our family holidays that would live on for years to come.
Like the Grinch, I’d set out to achieve one goal, but had ended up achieving something far greater!
This is a wonderful time of year to make great memories with your loved ones, so embrace your traditions, make new ones, and enjoy!
(In the spirit of the holidays, and Sean’s story, here’s the classic song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” for your listening and viewing pleasure.)