The Grinch, taped 1992

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The tree is up, the garlands are perched, and the sparkling cider has been bought. This weekend, once my sister finishes school, our kitchen will turn into a cookie baking factory with Christmas movies play on a loop in the background. I have actually already watched quite a few Christmas movies to get in the mood.

There is, however, one Christmas movie I have on reserve. I must watch it with my brother, as he appreciates it as much as I do. It is a big deal, each Christmas, to turn on this old video one evening before Christmas. This video, this priceless Christmas tradition, is, of course, the treasured animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966. Who could turn down on the opportunity to annually delight in that big, curly, Grinchy smile, or the adorableness of Max the dog playing in the snow, or the curly-cue curl atop the blonde head of Cindy Lu Who? Most of all, who can resist Thurl Ravenscroft‘s silky voice singing “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch?” Not only is the voice deliciously enticing, but he calls the Grinch a three decker saurkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce. What’s not to love?

But our particular family tradition does not end with the Grinch. A major part of the celebration is the fact that our Mom taped the Grinch off of the TV in 1992, which means that the video comes complete with 1992 TBS commercials. These, of course, come complete with mushroom haircuts on the little boys, cabbage patch dolls clutched by the little girls, and poofy hair dangling above outrageous sweaters worn by the mums. Seeing commercials for Aladdin toys in Captain Crunch boxes and new games like Don’t Break the Ice issues fodder for our nostalgic tendencies. We observe with glee the novelty of the Lego Pirate Ship and Jumping Monkeys.

Not to mention, the year we taped it, there was a blizzard going on. Weathermen interrupt the program at multiple points to announce their updates. Winter Storm ’92, it was. I think we got some snow days out of it. Watching this video reminds us of white Christmases, even if there is no snow outside.

There is a week left before Christmas. Where has the time gone?

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