Thursday, December 18, 2008

On This Date in History

After my Grimbleschnitz (to borrow Mo's word) post of yesterday, I thought I might do something a little different today and take a peek and see what happened on this date in history. Imagine my surprise, then, to see that the most major significant event - as far as I was concerned - was that on December 18th, 1966 the popular Dr. Seuss' book How the Grinch Stole Christmas was made into an animated television special and shown for the first time on CBS.

If I'm doing my math correctly, I was eight years old when this now Christmas classic first came out and my family would have been in the process of moving from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona back to a new home in Connecticut so that my Mom could be close to relatives while my Dad was being shipped off to Danang, Vietnam for a year of hell.

Chances are I missed the very first showing of the Grinch but I remember watching it time and time again growing up and it was one of the shows, along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, that truly signaled the start of the holiday season. Those three were the Holy Grail of Christmas TV Shows and it just wasn't Christmas without them.

I find it kind of ironic that I should run across this little piece of historic trivia the day after writing a post lamenting the overpowering commercialization of the holidays and the loss of my own Christmas spirit in a world that seems to think that the success of Christmas is based upon how many gifts are stuffed under your Christmas tree but maybe not as ironic as I might think. There is, after all, a very powerful message that the Grinch - and we all - learn from this story when it comes to Christmas ...

"... Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came without 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!"

Thank you, Dr. Suess and Chuck Jones, for this timeless classic story of the true magic of Christmas. Maybe - in the end - being a Grinch really isn't a bad thing at all because in the end he finds out what Christmas is really all about ... and wouldn't it be nice if we could all find that again?


  1. I love those three shows every year watching them over and over. Just like the wizard of oz. May you find the joy in your Christmas. Your's will be that little package coming up from Florida to spend time with her Mom. This will be a Christmas full of Joy for you both. I am sure of it! Have fun!!!!!

  2. And don't forget The Year Without a Santa Claus! I still must toss in this video every year. No, I have not replaced it with DVD yet because it still works!

    Guess what I got this morning?

  3. How perfect!! I love 'til his puzzler was sore'
    my puzzler definitely needs a break

    I LOVE this Linda, you're the best

  4. IT is a very interesting back story and tribute. Well done...

  5. Anonymous8:58 AM EST

    I wish I could say that was before my time, but I was a post-pubescent teenage boy of 14. Probably wasn't paying too much attention to Dr. Seuss at that time. I don't think the Grinch entered my consciousness until I had kids of my own.

  6. Yay! You sound much better today, Mrs. Grinch :o)
    We had some holiday classics in Czech as well. I did not meet any of the U.S. cartoons until I got here. I love them and watch them every year :o)

  7. Wow, what a cool post, Linda! The "Grinch" was my late aunt's favorite Christmas show, and I remember her fondly every time I see the fuzzy green man! The message couldn't be more appropriate, and certainly needs to be heeded in these modern times - sigh!

    As a side note, the show was born a year and three weeks before I was! Oh, and unlike Callie Ann, I DON'T like the Wizard of Oz - the flying monkeys STILL scare me! :(

  8. What a great post... and reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be. Thanks Linda...

  9. well The Grinch is on my list for sure....but A Christmas Carol holds center stage....

    and while we're talking about your many of those Holy Grail shows have you seen so far this year?

    Perhaps it's time to hit the video store? (or Netflix)!!

  10. I so love this Linda. Haven't seen it in years either. Yes, it would be nice if we could all find the true meaning of Christmas again.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  11. Ah yes...I love the grinch. We watched it at my parent's house just the other day with Mariah. Love it!

    I hope you're feeling better today...

  12. Certain shows reappear every so often, such as comedy and variety shows from the 1970's at this time. As old as they are, they are better than most that are made now.

  13. Anonymous8:17 PM EST

    This one is one of my holiday Must-haves... Don't like the Jim Carrey version... but then most remakes suck in comparison to the real McCoy...

    Love this!

  14. I know I must've seen this when the kids were little - but I don't remember it. Not to be hackneyed but my favorite is "It's a Beautiful Life." I only watch it once every five years or so but I so love Jimmy Stewart!
    I'll have to remember "puzzler." That's a great word!
    Thanks, Linda, for something I didn't know (again!).

  15. "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" How true that line is -well, most of the time for most of us anyway. Too bad there are still those around though who have never received the true message about Christmas though.

  16. Yep, a holiday classic, much like Charlie Brown and his peakid lil' X-mas tree, Rudolph and the Abominal Snowman, and Frosty! I think all of those shows bring back childhood memories for all of us, when work and paying bills weren't tainting our innocent lives.

    No matter how old I get, or how "grinchy" I feel, they always bring a smile to my face, and I still love to watch them with my daughter. Hopefully she'll have those same happy childhood memories that I've had...

  17. Love this post, Duchess Linda. The Grinch brings back memories. But my fave is still Charlie Brown and his Christmas story.

    Ralph said the voice of the Grinch in this is the same person who was the voice of the original Tony the Tiger.
    Isn't that g-r-r-r-r-eat??

  18. Wow, what a great post. Can you imagine how exciting it was then to see it? Even now it's still cause to pause and it doesn't matter who you are, it's fun to watch and always anticipated!


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