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53 Interesting Facts About The Number 53: Grinch, 53, Steals Christmas

December 20, 2015


As much as I love Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and can relate to the toys on Misfit Island, the Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is my favorite holiday story with its moving message that

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, 
"doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...
means a little bit more!

But it wasn’t until I started this fu poetry writing experiment searching for interesting facts about the number 53 that it occurred me to consider: How old was the Grinch when he stole Christmas?

According to Dr. Seuss, for 53 years the Grinch put up with the Who’s Christmas cheer:

"Why, for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!"
"I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! But HOW?"

Which would make the Grinch 53 years old, yes?


So who was the original Grinch?

I suggest it is Dr Seuss himself: Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in 1904 and at the age of 53  he wrote and published the book in 1957.

Turns out I’m right:

Geisel says in the December 1957 edition of Redbook: “I was brushing my teeth on the morning of the 26th of last December when I noticed a very Grinch-ish countenance in the mirror. It was Seuss! So I wrote about my sour friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I’d lost.”[11]

Wikipedia reports that Seuss’s step-daughter, Lark Dimond-Cates, stated in a speech in 2003, “I always thought the Cat… was Ted on his good days, and the Grinch was Ted on his bad days.”[12] Cohen notes that

Seuss drove a car with a license plate that read “GRINCH”.[10]

While Dartmouth awarded Geisel with an honorary doctorate in 1956, long before this, the author added the “Dr.” to his penname because his father had always wanted him to practice medicine. The proper pronunciation for Seuss actually rhymes with voice but “Geisel switched to the anglicized pronunciation because it “evoked a figure advantageous for an author of children’s books to be associated with—Mother Goose[46] and because most people used this pronunciation.”

Happy holidays!

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