Book talk: The unstealable spirit of Christmas

Book talk: The unstealable spirit of Christmas

By Alanna Warwick-Smith

9 December 2020

Much has changed in the Cayman Islands — and around the world — since the 2019 holiday season. However, we must lean into the solace and familiarities of cooler breezes rolling in with the tides, the stringing of holiday lights on roundabouts, the exchange of Christmas cakes and the chance to safely gather with friends and/or family where able.

For much of my life, Dr. Seuss’s "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" has provided me constant comfort – during the holiday season and any other time of year I find myself needing inspiration from the town of Whoville. First published in 1957, and since adapted into television specials and movies alike, the Grinch is as familiar a figure to the holiday season as Santa Claus.

The Grinch is not a "who," but instead a "what" that lives on a mountain just north of Whoville, a happy town in near-constant celebration of and anticipation for Christmas. The Grinch is full of distaste towards the Whos — as the people from Whoville are called — and of the opinion that there is no way they could possibly be that happy. The Grinch is also full of hate for Christmas. And so, “The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!” and plots to steal Christmas.

The intricate plot involves the Grinch's dressing like Saint Nick himself, sticking a reindeer antler on his dog Max and sourcing a sleigh. The plot works and the Grinch manages to ransack the town of Whoville and steal all the Christmas gifts.

grinch book talk

A few hours later on the quiet Christmas morning, the Grinch waits in anticipation ... "They're finding out now, that no Christmas is coming! They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do! Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry boohoo!

But no boohoo comes.

In an example of the resiliency of community, the Whos awaken to the realisation their homes have been stripped and their reaction has stayed with me since I first read the book.

"What he saw was a shocking surprise! 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!"

Full of life lessons and hopeful optimism about the goodness of people, my hope remains that the young and the young at heart will continue to gain inspiration by reading "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and in remembering that nothing — or no one — can steal the true spirit of Christmas.

This article first appeared in the December 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times.


About the author

Alanna Warwick-Smith is a Senior Marketing Communications Coordinator supporting the business development and real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past eight years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore, Books & Books. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times.

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