RTBN 25 Days of Christmas: Day Four
Day Four: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
RTBN 25 Days of Christmas is the RTBN staff's irreverent exploration of our collective holiday pop culture traditions.

We have already discussed the Holiday season as a time of wonder, a period of nostalgia, and a moment for gathering close with your loved ones. But we would be viewing the world with rose-colored glasses if we didn't also mention the holiday season as a time of loneliness. There is a current of naked human need running under a lot of holiday-themed entertainment, and under this time of year as a whole. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, we have an inherent need to gather close with people we care about. So what is to become of those of us who have no one in the season that it matters the most?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas has, at its center, one of the most iconic "Christmas villains" in all of pop culture (rivaled perhaps only by Ebenezer Scrooge, but trust me, we'll get there): The Grinch. Played, in the classic 1966 special by Boris Karloff (who also narrated), The Grinch isa a mean one, a callous recluse who dismisses joy and rages at cheer. When he sees his dog Max covered in snow (a sight most of us would find adorable; in fact, there's probably a tumblr account out there dedicated to such a thing), he decides to disguise himself as Santa Claus and steal Christmas from the Whos' down in Whoville.

The Grinch, like virtually every Christmas villain, is less an actual bad guy and more a misunderstood loner who just needs to be reminded what Christmas is all about. The Grinch believes that by stealing the food, the decorations, and the presents from the Whos', he can take their happiness as well. Misery loves company after all, and The Grinch only truly hates being alone. But when he hears the Whos' joyful carols, he decides to return their possessions, and is allowed to carve the roast beast (sidebar: doesn't that sound way more delicious than roast beef?).

Frequent readers of this site well know that I am in law school, and friends have often heard me decry, "Law School kills all holidays!" I had a midterm last year on my birthday. I was forced to skip this year's trip home for Thanksgiving. I will be studying up until mere days before Christmas, and just learned I am expected to do some registration on Christmas Eve. So, this year, I relate all too well to the plight of Scrooge, The Grinch, and other "Christmas Villains." Ultimately, though, we are masters of our own fate. So no matter how bad things may seem at points this season, keep the Christmas spirit. Don't take any black moods out on the Whos' in your life. Let Cindy Lou Who cheer you up instead of dragging her down with you. And you may find your heart grows three sizes this season.

Tomorrow on RTBN 25 Days of Christmas:

Rachel looks in on the Christmas episodes of The West Wing, "In Excelsis Deo" and "Noel."
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