More Christmas Blessings: The Grinch and WebMD

The GrinchSo, depending on how you look at things, my December curse or blessing continues. On the curse side, I got felled this weekend by a surprise attack of appendicitis, requiring surgery and a weekend in the hospital watching infomercials. On the blessing side, I got through the surgery with nary more than a sore navel, so who am I to complain?

However, I must give WordHappy kudos to the no-nonsense writing approach of the WebMD website. When it’s 11:30 at night and you can’t remember whether it’s the lower right or left side you need to worry about with appendicitis, it’s a good place to find your bearings and decide whether a trip to the emergency room is in order. If anyone who reads this has other medical advice websites they find informative, helpful, and well-written, be sure to comment and tell us. It could be, quite literally, a life-saver.

As I channel-flipped through hospital television channels this weekend, there were many holiday offerings, but only one show was left to play to completion: the 1966 cartoon version of Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Do not be confused with the inferior live action film from the year 2000. There is only one true version. This cartoon for me beats Rudolph, beats Frosty, beats the Heat and Snow Misers, beats them all. The cartoon features quirky animation, one of the great anti-heroes of Christmas literature, and the voice of Boris Karloff. That’s like hitting the Trifecta of Christmas greatness! And even better, it manages lovingly to skewer the mass commercialization of the holiday and bring it back, if not to its religious roots, at least to its moral roots:

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Maybe it does, indeed. Thanks for the reminder, Grinch and Ted Geisel.

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