Observer reporter Lauren Clarke tells why How the Grinch Stole Christmas is her favourite festive film:
In my ideal world, the run up to Christmas would start on December 20 and end on December 27. There would be no Christmas lights up in September, no light switch-ons at the end of November and certainly no festive tunes before the middle of December.
Sadly, the world is not like this and festive joy – like painfully dry Christmas Day turkey – is shoved down your throat whether you like it or not.
It is not surprising therefore that my favourite Christmas film is How The Grinch stole Christmas.
Based on the beloved book by Dr Seuss, we meet our green friend (played by an unrecognisable Jim Carrey) in his lair atop Mt Crumpit – far away from the jubilantly festive Whoville below.
Having cut himself off from the Whos (a humanoid race with comically upturned noses) The Grinch wallows in a pit of scrooge-esque self pity with only his dog, Max, for company.
That is until a six-year-old Cindy Lou Who takes it upon herself to visit The Grinch after becoming worried her fellow Whos had become so obsessed with presents and started to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
Inviting Mr Grinch to be part of Whoville’s festive celebration, the Whobilation, Cindy Lou thought she could warm his icy heart and dispel the misconceptions surrounding The Grinch.
But when things don’t go as planned, The Grinch shows his true colours and decides to make it his mission to ruin Christmas for all of Whoville – by stealing all of their presents on Christmas Eve.
Here’s where it all changes though.
Hearing the sound of Whos singing in perfect harmony, The Grinch has an epiphany – realising Christmas is not about the presents, but about family and togetherness.
While the the film speaks to my own Grinch-y self, it reminds everyone who watches it of the real point of the festive season.
In an age of internet shopping and the immediacy of technology, many of us have become obsessed by the idea of having the latest, newest, shiniest gift that the gift-giver could have bought on their smartphone from the comfort of their sofa.
The thought has gone from Christmas – the perfect present you spend hours scouring the shops to find, the thought for those less fortunate – replaced by a soulless corporate-fueled season of panic buying underscored by lackluster, industry produced festive songs with obligatory jingle bell sound effects.
Yes, I may be a bit of a Grinch, but How the Grinch Stole Christmas reminds us to let our hearts grow three sizes and remember what the true meaning of the festive season is all about.