Christmas is coming, and it’s time to dig out the DVDs I normally watch this time of year. No, I don’t sit on the sofa or in a recliner and watch them. More often, I watch while on the stationary bicycle, peddling away, or while on the rowing machine. DVDs and an occasional PBS program are how I get my exercise. But there are certain DVDs I usually watch, and books I usually reread, this time of year, and the first this year was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I was in high school by the time the Grinch and The Cat in the Hat came out, and I don’t remember reading those books. But I remember sitting in our grade school library, reading And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, McElligot’s Pool, and The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. The last was even made into a song that we sang in one of my early school music lessons, and I still remember about half the tune.

Dr Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, and he wrote 46 children’s books, most still popular today. You’re Only Old Once I read in a doctor’s waiting room (an appropriate place for it) while waiting to find out what was wrong with my gall bladder. But the Grinch I met first through the cartoon special.

It’s a wonderful antidote to the Christmas shopping madness, with its message of “Christmas is within our grasp, as long as we have hands to clasp.” And I have to admit that I enjoy the extras on the disc – how it was made, the commentaries from cartoonists and voice actors – as much as the Chuck Jones cartoon itself.

The cartoon represents the combined talents of Chuck Jones and Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) with the wonderful voice of Boris Karloff both as narrator and as the Grinch. This is another DVD I worry about wearing out. (And as a snowflake connoisseur, I love those falling snowflakes.)