How The Grinch Stole Christmas: 5 Reasons I Still Believe It's The Best Christmas Special To This Day

grinch how the grinch stole christmas
(Image credit: MGM)

This time of year is my favorite. The lights are shining, Christmas movies are playing – even new holiday movies are coming out in theaters, like Violent Night. You know what time it is – it’s the holiday season. 

During this time of year, I always tend to watch holiday specials, for a multitude of reasons. Whether it be the best holiday-themed baking shows, or holiday specials from some of my favorite adult animated shows, I’m always down for one. It could even be A Charlie Brown Christmas – but there’s one Christmas special in my life that prevails over every other one, and that, my friends, is How The Grinch Stole Christmas. 

Released in 1966 under MGM Television, this Christmas special based on the book by Dr. Seuss has continued to be a Christmas classic for years. While there have been plenty of adaptations of this novel, like Jim Carrey’s version or even the 2018 animated one, there’s nothing quite like the original. And today, I’m going to go over my reasons as to why I love it so much.

the grinch in how the grinch stole christmas

(Image credit: MGM Television)

The Animation Is So Nostalgic 

I’m the biggest fan of animation. Seriously, ask anyone. I have watched all kinds of animation for hours on end, from some of the best stop-motion animated films to the latest Disney movies over the last decade. I love them. But I'm sure I'm not the first to say that a part of me misses the days of hand-drawn animation. 

Movies like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast from the Disney Renaissance fueled my childhood, but you want to know what started that before anything else? The animation in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. While it’s clearly not as detailed as other hand-drawn animation years later, it’s still so nostalgic to watch. 

I mean, think about it. Someone took the time out of their lives to animate every one of those panels, and it’s something I really love to watch over and over again. It brings back happy memories and makes me want to learn how to do hand-drawn animation – until I realize how much time goes into it. 

The town of Whoville in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

(Image credit: MGM Television)

The World Of Who-Ville Is Actually Really Well Detailed 

This is just a minor detail, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really noticed that the town of Who-Ville, is actually quite detailed. 

No, I don’t mean like “zoom in on this picture and you’ll still find something new” sort of detailed, but this is a really cool town. The houses are so strangely made but in their own unique way, and everything sort of has its real-world counterpart that looks so weird and yet, looks like it fits perfectly in that world (like the Roast Beast, obviously Roast Beef). 

And don’t even get me started on the Christmas decorations. Everything here is so freaking beautiful. I wish I had the decorating skills that these Whovians had. 

The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

(Image credit: MGM Television)

It Still Teaches A Valuable Lesson To Both Adults And Kids

I mean, obviously. In every single special for any holiday, there should always be some sort of lesson that is taught to the children. And How The Grinch Stole Christmas does a great job of that – teaching that we should be kind to others, and to be charitable. To let ourselves grow and find happiness in times where things seem at their most dark. 

That’s a lesson for both kids and adults that anyone can learn to love. Think of one of those last scenes, where the Grinch has taken all of their decorations and gifts and everything else that he thought they valued the most, but in the end, they valued each other more. They still sang together and celebrated the holiday, finding happiness even when everything was gone. 

The perseverance shown by the Whovians still celebrating Christmas is what made the Grinch's heart grow three sizes. You can't beat that moment. 

The Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

(Image credit: MGM Television)

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” Is Still A Top-Tier Christmas Song

Eat your heart out, Mariah Carey.  No, but on a real note, I can find myself listening to “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” at any point of the year. It doesn’t matter if it’s not Christmas. I’ll listen to the original from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, or I’ll even end up listening to the Glee cover of it, or any other version. It’s just a great song with great wordplay.

There are plenty of great Christmas songs, I know, but this one will always be my favorite no matter what. 

The Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

(Image credit: MGM Television)

The Enthusiasm For Christmas In The Special Makes Me Want To Get In The Christmas Spirit 

I know I’m not the only one saying that Christmas just doesn’t feel the same when you grow up. You’re given so many more responsibilities than you ever had, and stress increases even more as time goes on. During college, you have finals. When you graduate college, you have a job and that can be stressful. Or you’re the parent and you have to struggle to find gifts for your kids. All of this can be stressful. 

When stress is there, it makes getting into the Christmas spirit harder than usual, and that’s where How The Grinch Stole Christmas comes into play – because there isn’t another single Christmas special there that gets me in the mood more than this. 

I could watch all the movies about Santa out there, or even check out some weird unconventional movies on Santa, but when it comes down to it, this is the special that makes me want to celebrate Christmas. The sheer love that the Whovians have for the holiday is what fuels me to try and pick up gifts, to decorate a tree, to do so much more.

It’s just one of those specials. There’s no way you’re not feeling the Christmas spirit after – or at least want to try and do something about celebrating. While our lives can’t be as simple as the people down in Whoville, we can at least try and have the same spirit they have for the holiday, no matter what gifts or decorations there are to get. 

The holidays can be a hectic time, but if for some reason you haven’t had the chance to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas in a long time, be sure to check it out. It just might be what makes you want to celebrate the holidays this year, just like it was for me. 

Stream How The Grinch Stole Christmas on Peacock.

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!