But not Coral. Oh, no. Some certain quality of this particular movie caught her attention, and it became her goal in life to soak up the wisdoms it had to offer.
First she wanted her hair up in braids like a Who.
Then in February, she turned four. In keeping with her stubborn, funny, spunky born-at-thirty-weeks-with-two-holes-in-her-heart-because-she-couldn't-be-just-anybody birth day way, she didn't want a Strawberry Shortcake party. She didn't want the previous year's Pooh Bear party. Not Barbie, not Sesame Street, not anything that could be had easily. Nope, she wanted a Grinch party. So we dragged the Christmas decorations back out of the garage; I drew a paper Grinch for pin-the-heart-on-the-Grinch and baked a (hideously ugly) Mt. Crumpit cake. She dressed in Cindy Lou Who fashion with her hair up and the house strewn with kooky musical toys. We even played Grinch the Donut because it seemed like something the Whos would do.
The months rolled by and the interest continued. By June we'd all watched the movie a hundred times. She had learned every song by heart, sworn she was growing her hair long so it could be styled like Cindy's, and let everyone within earshot know the true meaning of Christmas was love. She not only memorized practically every word from the movie, but she studied all of the behind the scenes footage, storing it away for her future career as a Who. And her Grinch collection started growing.
The beloved stuffed Grinchy, for whom I had to purchase a Santa suit (thank you craigslist):
the Cindy Lou Who necklace to match her Christmas bow and "candy cane" dress (in August):
a Grinch backpack from an Old Biddy at a yard sale (perhaps not one of *the* Old Biddies but maybe!):
and even a Cindy Lou Christmas cape, which she styled at co-op:
Whos go to school too, you know.
Early on she knew what she wanted to be for Halloween: Cindy Lou Who. The dress underneath was as close as we could get to looking like a Who dress without contacting Hollywood. As an added bonus, I discovered Etsy.
Unlike typical four-year-olds, she never once changed her mind. I was even roped into making a Max the dog costume for her little brother. She oversaw every minute detail from the eggnog hat to the fuzzy black shoes.
Soon the Fizz pheasant....err, I mean turkey leftovers were making their rounds, and Christmas merriment was here once again. Her grandparents brought her a tabletop Christmas tree for her room, and we found Grinch-themed ornaments for it. We surrounded the tree and held hands while singing Fahoo fores, Dahoo dores like the Whos. I'm not sure if anyone's heart grew three sizes that day.
She also represented our 4-H club in the Christmas parade. Bet you'll never guess what she wore!
A small problem arose: all she wanted from Santa was the real, live Cindy Lou Who. Unlike the other kids, she would glance at toy catalogs and smile and tell us, "No, nothing!" when we asked if she saw anything she wanted. We had several long discussions on how Cindy would miss her family terribly (her countering: bring them along too!) and she finally, finally agreed that it just wasn't practical to invite Lou, Betty Lou, Drew, Stu, and Cindy into a house already crammed with the six of us. So she set her heart on the Whoville snowflake instead. That was a seriously tall order for Central Florida.
Christmas morning came and Coral was beyond excited. Not only did we get her two Grinch play sets, but there was a very special copy of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas book from not just Santa but the Grinch, too! We'd scarcely finished opening gifts when she curled up happily with her book.
I don't know everything that will happen in 2012, but I'm pretty sure Coral's love of all things Grinch will continue. Her room still contains a Christmas tree, and a Cindy Lou stocking, and she sleeps with two Grinches, a Cindy Lou doll, a stuffed Max, and her real dog she named Max all cuddled together under her Christmas blanket. Cindy Lou is still her idol and she plans to move to California when she's grown up because she heard the Grinch lives there. I'm hoping he moves to Florida before she's eighteen.
Where are you Christmas? Right here in Coral's heart.