Warren County Memorial Library on Dec. 21 continued its longstanding tradition of holding a Christmas program for people of all ages. However, this year’s event came with a twist. It included a visit from Dr. Seuss’ Grinch.
Children and their families waited excitedly for the doors to the library’s community meeting room to open, signaling the start of festivities. Friends of the Warren County Memorial Library co-sponsored the event, known as “Merry Grinchmas.”
What would happen at an event by that name? When the doors opened, the children saw a figure sitting in a chair like Santa Claus might if he were going to hear their Christmas wishes, and an elf was with him. The figure was wearing a red and white coat and hat like Santa Claus, but instead of being the Jolly Ole Elf from the North Pole, he looked rather green and somewhat furry.
Some of the boys and girls recognized the mysterious figure as the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but others, especially younger children, did not know what to think of the strange-looking creature. However, the Grinch had an elf with him who helped them feel more at ease.
Soon, everyone realized that there was nothing to fear. This Grinch did not come to steal Christmas. Children quickly gathered around to learn what the Grinch would say.
He began to read, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” He talked about his “wonderful, awful idea” to steal every reminder of Christmas from the Whos of Whoville while dressed as Santa Claus, and of meeting little Cindy Lou Who, who asked why Santa would steal trees, gifts and other things, right down to last can of Who hash.
The Grinch read about how he thought all the Whos would cry, “Boo hoo!” when they discovered his theft, but instead found the Whos singing. The Grinch learned that “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”
The audience listened intently as the Grinch’s story from Dr. Seuss’ book drew to a close with the ending that his heart grew three sizes, and he carved the roast beast.
Following the story, children and adults were presented books that were donated by Friends of the Warren County Memorial Library. Refreshments that included Christmas cookies added to the festivities.
Many participants dressed in Christmas attire that included a few Grinch shirts, sweaters and scarves.
Children agreed that they loved hearing the Grinch story, but they were divided over whether they liked him better when he was mean or kind.
Olivia Lindsey, 5, said that her favorite part of the tale was when the Grinch tried to poke a Christmas tree up the chimney. Lawson Pernell, 4, also liked when the Grinch stole Christmas.
Ian Bowen, 2, pointed out that the Grinch was his favorite character of the book, whether he was being kind or mean.
Six-year-old Armanii Henderson liked when the Grinch brings the Whos’ presents back. Kemani Baskett, 3, pointed to a picture in the book that showed the Whos singing as being the best part of the story.
No matter their favorite part of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the children at the library’s event who didn’t know what to do around a green, furry creature wound up hugging him and wanting to take photographs with him — an ending reminiscent of the tale the Grinch had read.