Why Did the Grinch Hate Christmas?

Don't let a grinch steal your holiday cheer!

There are lots of reasons why people love Christmas: the family togetherness, the food, the giving and receiving of gifts, the snow … which leads many to wonder, why did the Grinch hate Christmas? In fact, he hated this holiday so much that he terrorized the entire town of Whoville on Christmas Eve.

While disguised as Santa Claus, he:

  • Took away their presents
  • Stole their holiday decorations
  • Pilfered all of the food from their refrigerators to spoil the Christmas feast.

He packed everything in a sleigh and stashed it in his cave.

More about the Grinch

For people unfamiliar with the story of the Grinch, he is a green, fuzzy, monster-like individual who lives on a cliff overlooking the fictional town of Whoville. He doesn't like the Whos because they are always happy, always smiling and frequently singing. His only companion is his dog, Max. This story has become so popular that people in real life, who are grouchy during the holiday season are sometimes referred to as grinches.

Original Reasons He Hated Christmas

The reasons the Grinch hated Christmas were originally revealed in the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, which was first published in 1957. While the narrator claimed no one really knew exactly why, he has some guesses. These reasons were:

  • He had shoes that were too tight.
  • His head wasn't screwed on right.
  • His heart was two sizes too small.

The narrator claims that this third reason was definitely the most likely.

Updated Reasons He Hated Christmas

In the 2000 live-action film adaptation of the story, the Grinch's childhood is explored further. The viewer learns that the Grinch used to live among the Whos, not on his rocky overlook. Many of them teased and bullied him as a child, so he learned to hate them, or at least to see them with disdain.

In this film, young Cindy Lou Who brings the Grinch down to participate in the pre-Christmas activities. However, he gets fed up with the Whos' obsession with decorations and presents and his memories of his youth in the town come flooding back. Just as he starts to enjoy Christmas a little, he ends up angrier and more bitter instead.

How He Changed His Mind

A story that simply dwells on the facts related to why did the Grinch hate Christmas would be a pretty depressing one. The true lesson in this tale is that while the Grinch certainly did hate Christmas at first, he changes his mind come Christmas morning. He goes back up in his cave with all of the presents, food and decorations and waits to hear the sobs of the townspeople. Instead, he hears each and every Who standing together singing a Christmas carol. It turns out that they can enjoy the day without even a scrap of material goods.

Finally the Grinch understands that Christmas isn't all about things. It's about sharing the holiday with the ones you love and care about. He is so overcome with this realization of the true meaning of Christmas that he returns to Whoville and gives them back everything he took and then proceeds to spend the holiday with them. He even carves the "roast beast" at Christmas dinner.

Conclusion on Why Did the Grinch Hate Christmas

It seems that the number one reason the Grinch hated Christmas goes back to his heart being two sizes too small. The narrator in both the book and the film even notes that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes on that fateful Christmas day, which gave him the strength to carry the sleigh back down the hill from his cave instead of relying on his tired dog Max, who was tasked with the job of pulling the sleigh up the hill, for help.

Why Did the Grinch Hate Christmas?