How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is definitely a feel-good Christmas story. All the trappings are there—adorable children, snow-covered mountains, elaborately decorated trees, caroling, and a dramatic change of heart.
But don't be fooled into thinking that the Grinch's story is just a glossy tale to be usurped for tacky window displays and synergistic marketing ploys (though it is those things, especially around Black Friday). On its most basic level, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a story about redemption and what really matters at the end of a long, frostbitten day.
Just in time for Christmas, which often comes with a whole lot of brouhaha about forgiveness and changing one's ways, the Grinch presents the tale of someone who simply doesn't want to be cheerful or merry. Like old Ebenezer Scrooge before him, the Grinch who lives north of Who-ville has been quite the nasty and vindictive character for the past 53 years (and maybe even for longer).
But in a turn of events, the Grinch's heart grows—literally—as he realizes that his nefarious no-good doings didn't ruin Christmas; the citizens of Who-ville are still celebrating and still coming together in a show of goodwill.
In that moment, the Grinch changes his mind (and his heart) when it comes to Christmas. He winds up redeeming himself by returning all the gifts and even joining in the festivities. In this book, it's never too late to change your ways.
But wait, why does he change his ways? It's probably thanks to the good example of the Whos, who know the true meaning of Christmas, as cheese-tastic as that concept is. It's not about gifts, or sparkling trees, or even that delicious feast, even though we know we'd be grumpy if our holiday turkey just stood up and walked out the door. But that's just it—these are all things Christmas is not about.
What is Christmas not about? Well, let's see…