Watching 'The Grinch' as a Life Coach

My kids have fallen in love with a new version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It’s called The Grinch, it’s animated, and it came out in 2018.

I must say, it’s an interesting experience to watch classics from your childhood when they are reinterpreted. Especially when it’s something that is near and dear to your heart. I find that I am usually more critical of these projects. But, experiencing it with my kids and noticing where they laugh and are curious is sometimes enough for me to have an open mind.

This particular version stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch (that's another post for another day), and has an eclectic music selection throughout.

The challenge with this movie (like others before it) is they are trying to expand it into feature film length, rather than just keep with the narration we so love that lasts under 30 minutes. To do this, there is more dialogue, back story and comedic elements. The one that stuck out to me is the part where they focus on the Grinch being alone at Christmas as a child. When I remember the original version, all I think of is the end when his heart grows three sizes.

As I watched the movie again (we are on the third time this month!), it really struck me how this story is an easy way to approach the effects of traumatic childhood memories. He felt forgotten and alone, and the meaning he made of others’ enjoyment was that the holiday was bad and the Who's were greedy. Which led to the big unfortunate event.

I really wanted to rename it to: When Hurt People Hurt People.

I do believe in the power of kindness, and love. People really do want to be in community, and generally want to be seen and heard by others. I wish that everyone was as receptive as the Grinch, who eventually got invited to the big meal at Cindy Lou’s house, and made a wonderful speech about how the problem wasn’t Christmas, the problem was being alone.

Maybe it should be renamed, When Hurt People Hurt People (or How Vulnerability Gets You an Invite to Christmas Dinner).

I am actually quite impressed that more of these stories are being introduced to kids earlier. I don’t think my boys get the depth as much as I do, but I love having an opening to talk to them about these things.