The Grinch is an inventor who in his spare time, loves to come up with wonderful things that make his life easier; he created an entire system in his kitchen that helps the dog make his breakfast, his own collapsible chair, and the mechanism that allows him to strip people’s homes of their Christmas lights, contain their presents and trees in an ever-expanding sleigh, etc. He enjoys the idea of inventing things almost as much as he loves the notion of depriving other people of Christmas pleasures! He’s also anti-social, inconsiderate of others (stealing a jar of pickles out of someone’s cart, eating one, then spitting it out and sticking it in someone else’s cart; knocking a shelf to break the last jar of something someone wants, etc), and rude. He has a rather ‘obvious’ grasp of things. The Grinch thinks Christmas is decorations, presents, feasts, and lights, so he assumes if he steals all those things, the Who’s will have no choice but to fall into despair and abandon the tradition of Christmas. He is easily bored and wants to be constantly doing things (playing chess, playing music, inventing things). The Grinch is happiest when indulged in actively doing something to thwart Christmas, from stealing a sleigh to trying to catapult a snowball into the town tree and capsize it. He psyches himself for the job with exercising, by drinking gallons of coffee, and looking through Christmas books, where he’s soon sidetracked by food. In stressful situations, he “emotional-eats,” cleaning out all his cupboards and forcing him to go to the store. When preparing his cohorts for their adventure, he focuses primarily on all the ‘sensory temptations’ that await them in the various houses, from festive cookies to packages that tempt them to unwrap them and play with the contents. It’s not until he understands that Christmas is an emotional state of being that he realizes it’s deeper than a superficial reality. The Grinch has decided because he hates it, Christmas should not be allowed to exist. His ‘ideal’ emotional state is a world without Christmas, and he works hard to ruin it for all the Who’s… but to his astonishment, they are still happy even without it! This baffles the Grinch, and… changes his mind. His heart “grows three sizes.” Though the Grinch goes out of his way to be mean (he hints to Cindy Lou that Santa does not exist, because no one has ever seen him), he is also easily touched. Though it isn’t rational to let his reindeer go hours ahead of stealing Christmas, the minute he sees the animal interact with his loved ones, the Grinch releases him. He tries to refuse privileges to Max only to cave in and give him what he wants (“Don’t give me those eyes… oh, all right.”) Confronted by Cindy Lou’s goodness toward her mother, he is easily guilt-tripped, proving he is prone to caring about people (just a little)… after all.

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The Grinch watches people from atop his mountain, and chooses to engage merely out of nastiness rather than a genuine desire to forge connections. It all stems from fear that he cannot handle his own intense emotions of resentment, jealousy, and anguish, which come from his bitterness over his childhood in an orphanage devoid of love, companionship, and presents. He hates being hugged, he hates happy things, he hates having to go to town and see joyful people! The Grinch is, let’s face it, wallowing in a chosen pit of despair, refusing to move on from a past hurt,  and wants to make everyone else suffer as he suffers. Rather than embracing the Christmas spirit and changing his mind, he angrily has an ‘alternate’ opinion because it’s how he feels. He sees no reason to be nice to anyone until his heart ‘grows bigger,’ and then he’s able to move positively toward accepting that happiness is a state of mind, and not dependent on how badly you have been hurt. He has chosen to isolate himself from the happiness his inner self craves – becoming a distant observer of life rather than a participant.