Summary: INTRODUCTION: Who Stole Christmas? I've been called my share of names, but the only one that ever really stung was ''grinch.'' The year that a few friends and I started the Hundred Dollar Holiday program through our rural Methodist churches, several business-page columnists in the local papers leveled the G-word -- we were dour do-gooders, they said, bent on taking the joy out of Christmas. And, frankly, their charges sounded plausible enough. After all, we were asking our families, ...show moreour friends, and our church brethren to try and limit the amount of money they spend on the holiday to a hundred dollars -- to celebrate the holiday with a seventh or an eighth of the normal American materialism. There's no question that would mean fewer ''Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums! Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!'' Not to mention Playstations, Camcorders, Five Irons, and various Obsessions. Perhaps my heart was two sizes too small.So it was with some trepidation that I carefully reread my daughter's well-worn copy of the Seuss classic, neatly shelved withGreen Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who,and all the other secular parables. There on the cover was the Grinch himself, red eyes gleaming malevolently as he plotted the sack of Whoville. He hated the noise of the kids with their toys, and he hated the feast of rare Who-roast-beast, and most of all he hated the singing. ''Why, for fifty-three years I've put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming!...But HOW?'' Simple enough, of course. All he had to do was loot the town of its packages, tinsel, trees, food, even the logs in the fireplace. Even the crumbs for the mice disappeared back up the chimney.But of course it didn't work. That Christmas morning, listening from his aerie for the wailing from Whoville below, the Grinch heard instead the sound of singing. Christmas had come. ''It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!'' After puzzling three hours til ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 98
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