The Story of the Grinch Is A Modern Parable
More About Our Whoville Party
Last January, Redeemer Lutheran Church, the parent organization of 2×2, held a Whoville Party to celebrate Christmas. We wrote a small post about our experience.
That post has attracted traffic all year and today someone asked for details.
So here goes!
The idea for our Whoville Party came from our unique place in the Church. We have been locked out of our sanctuary in a property dispute with our regional body. As we approached our THIRD year of no church in which to celebrate Christmas, we were struck by the similarities to our situation and the famous Dr. Seuss story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
To add to that experience, just as we were beginning to plan our Whoville Party, the local church authorities made an announcement inviting people to help “clean out” our church just a few days before Christmas. The parallels were difficult to ignore!
So the story of the Grinch is very real to us. And we are planning to party again for our fourth year of being locked out of our church at Christmastime by the church leaders who manage to miss the message of Christmas year after year.
We borrowed space from a local theater and set about making a party that families and other community groups might like to attend.
Here are some of details. Some of these we tried on our first Whoville Party and some are things we will try this year.
First, let us point out that the story of the Grinch is a modern parable and though it is written to appeal to the broad Christmas audience, it is not difficult to relate it to the teachings of the original Christmas Story. We encourage any Christian group to tie the powerful biblical story of Christmas to this secular story.
We happen to have a fine artist in our congregation who created murals on large sheets of foam core and sign board triptychs used by businesses for trade show displays. These can be purchased at any office supply store. He painted images of Whoville to decorate the walls. If you have no artists among your group, there are plenty of images online that you can have printed on banners. Just Google images for Whoville. Banners are not as costly as you might think. Look up some large format printers online. You can put a few hundred dollars into this and reuse the same banners every year.
You can look at the illustrations from the book and string garlands and stockings like those depicted.
We rented a Grinch costume and one of our young men played the Grinch. Be careful how you do this. Little children are afraid of the Grinch. You might also want to costume a Santa to help the little children feel safe. (Renting a costume costs about the same as buying one, we found. Shop now!)
You might feature a costumed Mayor of Whoville to circulate through the town throughout the party.
We had a story corner where children gathered to hear the reading of the Grinch Story. You can also read the Christmas story or even a Santa story, too, if it fits your plans.
We had game stations and punch cards (on strings so they could wear them around their necks) for each attendant. If they played all the games, their punch card was entered in a drawing for a prize.
The games included:
Best Whoville Outfit: Announce a prize ahead of time to encourage attendants to come dressed for the spirit of the party.
Dress the Grinch: blindfolded children pull clothes out of a box and dress the Grinch.
Pin the antlers on Max: A drawing of Max without his antlers is posted on the wall and blindfolded contestants pin the antlers. You might add some other characters to the drawing so the antlers could end up on any of them for more fun.
Find the Heart Scavenger Game: Hide a little cut-out heart and the heart that grew three sizes. This can be a progressive game. When the little heart is found the finder gets to hide it again for the next person. The big heart can be the station where they report finding the heart. They can sign the big heart before sneaking off to hide the heart again.
Bean toss: Make a big heart the target for a bean bag toss. You can cut it out of foam core or just lay a large heart on the floor.
Face-painting: Local face-painters added Whoville images to faces.
Challenge Course: You can also fashion some type of challenge — like limbo —How low can you go? Kind of goes with the Grinch doesn’t it? Or you might just create some other type of obstacle course.
Many of the Games listed here can be adapted for a Whoville Party.
Think of ways to use the Whoville or Seuss characters.
We featured Green Eggs and Ham Soup and Roast Beast Sandwiches. Both were popular.
Here’s the recipe.
Recipe for Green Eggs and Ham Soup
Quantities depend on how big your pot is! We made a huge pot, so we are guessing at the quantities for a more normal batch. This was the one and only time we made this, so the only proof of the pudding was in the eating!
In a mixture of olive oil and butter (or just one or the other), saute a large onion, 2 spears of celery, 2 carrots, and 4 diced potatoes. As these ingredients soften, add a quart or so of water and a cup of dried split peas. Simmer on low for an hour as the peas soften. For spices use red pepper, garlic powder, savory and parsley flakes, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper — all to taste. We also added some Goya Ham flavoring. If your Whovillians don’t like chunky soup, blend it with a hand blender. Add milk until it is creamy to your taste. Add 3 to 6 sliced or diced hard-boiled eggs. Add ham. We used a pound of Tavern Ham lunch meat and ground it up in the food processor first. For more texture, rinse and add a can of Goya Green Peas. These are not as mushy as other canned peas. This would be delicious served with buttery croutons.
Advertise admission to the party as a gift to fill the Grinch’s sleigh for the needy. Decorate a large box to resemble a sleigh — cutting the shape of the sleigh out of foam core to attach to the side.
Have a Christmas Tree in the center of a large area and gather all your Whovillians for a Carol Sing. (Decorating the tree might be one of the activities.) This may be a time to tie the Whoville Fun to the Gospel.