Marolt: Why I think the Whos cared
I’m sure the Whos are very nice … people? Animals? Creatures? What are they, anyway? But, whatever they are, I think they are a little self-righteous. I might even accuse them of being hypocrites, but that’s not in the spirit of the season, so I won’t. Seuss forbid somebody tells the truth around this winter wonderland and gets labeled a Grinch.
Here’s the thing: If the Whos are so noble about their Christmases, if they are really totally fine with it coming without ribbons, coming without tags, coming without packages, boxes or bags, then why did they overdo all that stuff to begin with? I mean, with all the distractions they created in Whoville, it appears doubtful that they could have really kept their eye on the Christmas ball. I’ve watched the documentaries about their Christmas experiences, both the old cartoon and the newer full-length motion picture, more times than Cindy-Lou Who has sung “Wahoo Soray” and I’ve never spotted a nativity scene, even in the background.
Meanwhile, the Grinch gets a bad rap. I mean, the … guy? Monster? Beast? Whatever he is, he put up with the Whos and their nonsense for more than 53 years, we are told, before he snapped and decided to do something about it. Really, if patience is a virtue, you would have a hard time arguing that the Grinch wasn’t a virtuous … man? Oh, never mind.
The other thing you will notice is that once the Grinch brought all the trappings of the holidays back, nobody suggested that they were just as happy without all that stuff and, so, they might as well send it all back to the stores, assuming the Grinch kept the receipts, which he surely did since he took even the crumbs too small for a mouse, and use the refunds to give the Whoville school teachers a raise or build a new wing on the Who hospital, did they? No, they did not! And, do you recall, once they had all the junk back in their grimy, little Who hands, the party turned from a mellow sunrise sing-along into a full-on candy-striped Yuletide roast-beastly bash.
We do need to explain that mellow sunrise singalong, though. Why didn’t the Whos express dismay and anger after discovering they had been robbed of all their Christmas loot by the Grinch? I’m telling you why; it was because they were in shock. It was all so surreal and unbelievable that it couldn’t sink in that quickly.
Here the Grinch made a mistake. The Whos had no more than finished one verse of “Wahoo Soray” then he had a change of heart and brought all the evidence of his theft back. Maybe his heart grew three sizes that day or maybe he got scared of a little jail time. We’ll never know. At any rate, had he given the Whos an hour or two to come to their senses, things might have looked a little more dire in Whoville and true Who colors might have been revealed.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not down on all the Whose … er …Whos down in Whoville because they got all caught up in the Christmas rigmarole. My gripe is that they won’t admit that it meant something important to them.
I don’t think there is anything wrong admitting you enjoy what Christmas has become. If you prefer a noncommercialized, unpublicized, unmarketed day to acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas in your heart with a few friends and family close by, they already have that for you — It’s called “every other day of the year.” And, in fact, we should recognize the true significance of Christmas on all those other days and live within the spirit of it.
But, for a few weeks in December, let’s allow ourselves to go a little crazy in joyful celebration. It can be a pain to put up with crowds in the malls and on the sidewalks, irritating to be caught in traffic, frustrating to untangle lights and a chore to put up decorations and not be able to get a seat at our favorite restaurants. Christmas music can become tiresome after about the third week of hearing the same old songs. Party after party will eventually wear anyone down. And then! Oh, the cost! Oh the cost, cost, cost, cost! But, it’s all in proportion to the magnitude of what we are celebrating. Yes, you can go all out and still keep your perspective! So, do it and don’t be a big ol’ Who about it!
OK, now I’m heading to the fridge for a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich … with arsenic sauce.
Roger Marolt loves Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Roger@maroltllp.com.