Craig Allen loves the Grinch: from Book to TV to “Grinchfest”
"Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot...
But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Who-ville, did Not!"
The opening lines of Theodore Seuss Geisel's ("Dr. Seuss") classic "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."
I like Christmas, and the rehabilitated Grinch a lot...and so do my neighbors!
But first, a little history:
The story book debuted during the Christmas season in 1957.
The Grinch arrived ("In Color") on our TV screens for the first time on December 18, 1966.
In my youth, we all jumped into the "family truckster" on Christmas Eve for the about-18-hour drive (in heavy snow most years) from New Jersey to Wisconsin, to celebrate Christmas with my grandparents.
One of the first years that I was old enough to remember the trip, the car radio didn't work...so my fast-thinking mom recorded the "Grinch" with our little "Craig" (brand) reel to reel tape recorder! We LISTENED to the Grinch for hundreds of miles...and I was hooked...
...even without the colorful, imaginative TV pictures.
Needless to say, in my life, the Grinch is "Must-See TV!"
In the years before the VCR, one could only catch the Grinch at his best/worst once a year.
I bought my first VCR as a senior in college (University of Wisconsin-Madison)...and recorded the green guy "Who's" "heart was two sizes too small."
Friends would come to my room (an adult beverage in hand) and settle in for a festive showing...I was very popular in my dorm for being able to "time-shift" the Grinch!
At the same time, my now-neighbors, Jerry and Helen, were watching the Grinch with their pals at Rutgers...and taking it to a whole new level!
Behold: "Grinchfest" was born!
Grinchy (multiple choice) questions were posted...and the competition was on! "Who" knew the most about the Grinch...Max...the Who's...and Who-ville? Prizes were awarded for different levels of Grinch knowledge!
Then, all winners (and those who needed further "study") would gather around the glowing tube for the sacred video-tape showing of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!"
My first "Grinchfest" was in 1991...and I made many new friends among fellow Grinch-devotees that cold December night!
We donned our commemorative "Grinchfest" T-shirts, and wandered the house (bottle or glass of "holiday cheer" in hand), filling in our multiple-choice Grinch answer sheets.
Then, feeling a "warm glow," it was time for...the "Grinchfest Run!"
Sure...it makes perfect sense to run the (icy) streets of the (entire) neighborhood...
...somewhat tipsy...showing off your (short sleeve) Grinch T-shirt!
Of course...NO JACKETS ALLOWED!
After all, if the Grinch could brave the cold and the snow, so could YOU.
One aside here...some invitees didn't make it to "Grinchfest 1991," as a bad cold bug was going around. And, suffice it to say...the "run" didn't help me (or anyone else) feel better the next day. That was the first...and LAST "Grinchfest Run." EVER.
There have been many "Grinchfests" since my first...
...always so much FUN!
The holidays are a busy time for all "Who" girls and boys...and, sadly, that means that "Grinchfest" doesn't come every year.
"It came...just the same!"
A new game greets "Grinchfest" revelers this year:
Mismatched quotes from favorite Christmas movies are posted throughout the house! C'mon...
...give it your best shot...
...before moving on to the On-Line 2018 Edition "Grinchfest Quiz."
After the winner is revealed...
...the "mean one" appears on the "big screen!"
Of course, "Grinchfest" (also) means food (and drink) and...merriment.
The true spirit of "Grinchfest" will live on "as long as we have we..(and we)...have hands to clasp."