10 Grinches Who Tried to Ruin Christmas
Christmastime should be about family, generosity and good cheer, but sometimes there are a few baddies lurking about to spoil everyone’s fun. We’re talking about nasty Christmas villains here. Thankfully most of them are merely figments of some storyteller’s imagination. But not all of them. There are always a few real life Yuletide rogues out there just waiting to make a mess of the winter holidays.
Of course, everyone has heard of Jack Frost, and maybe some of the other fictional bad guys causing havoc in the Christmas world. But have you heard about the Santa Claus Bandit, or the inebriated float driver? Here’s a list of some of the worst Christmas Grinches around, both real and made up. With any luck, you won’t be running into any of these nefarious characters, or people with similar traits, during the Christmas season.
When talking about Christmas Grinches, how could we not mention the Grinch himself? This wonderful, yet maniacal, Dr. Seuss character is the prototypical grumpy holiday creation.
The Grinch hates all things Christmas; he gets especially riled up when others are singing in celebration of the holidays in the fictional town of Whoville. When the grumpy Grinch finally discovers the soulful side to Christmas, his diminutive heart increases in size, and he changes his negative opinions about the Christmas holiday altogether.
Ebenezer Scrooge is perhaps one of the most memorable Christmas villains of all time. Yes, we know, by the end of the Charles Dickens’ story, 'A Christmas Carol,' Mr. Scrooge has a profound change of heart and becomes a better man. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be on our list of Yuletide meanies.
Scrooge hordes his money, detests Christmas, family, kindness and charity. This miser (before his miracle transformation) personifies pretty much everything that’s wrong with the human race. The main lessons of this classic Christmas tale are simple: Don’t be a Scrooge and destroy other people's happiness. It’s always better to embrace the Christmas spirit and give until you can’t give anymore.
The Santa Claus Bandit
Sometimes the bad guys inhabiting the Christmas world are actual people. Such is the case of the Santa Claus Bandit. Jeffrey Stenner decided to rob an armored vehicle back in 1988, around Christmastime. This holiday scoundrel wore a Santa hat and a big white Santa beard as a disguise during his robbery. He was caught and sentenced for his crime, but then he received even more time because the authorities discovered that he had arranged for the murder of his robbery accomplice by strangulation. So much for the Christmas spirit, and spreading the message of brotherly love…
Leave it to Tim Burton to come up with an extremely vile Christmas evildoer. In 'The Nightmare Before Christmas,' Oogie Boogie takes on the job of holiday antagonist with gleeful relish. He’s a heartless Boogie Man in the form of a large sack filled to the brim with bugs and snakes.
Oogie is even involved in the kidnapping of Santa Claus. This demonic tormentor sings a devilishly joyful song as he prepares to torture poor Father Christmas. Thankfully a group of unusual characters, including Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, stop Oogie Boogie before he can carry out his dastardly plans.
Texas Santa Bank Robbers
On December 23, 1927, a group of men in Texas pulled off one of the most notorious Christmas crimes of all time. Marshall Ratliff, the leader of the bank robbers, dressed up in a Santa Claus outfit and gathered up a collection of tagalong children (naturally drawn to a Santa on the streets) and entered a bank in Cisco, Texas, where he staged a hold up with his cohorts.
Shots were fired, hostages were taken, police officers killed and a massive manhunt was initiated. Several more gunfights ensued, but eventually, after several days on the run, all of the bank robbers were taken into custody. After an escape attempt by Ratliff, a group of local citizens stormed the jail and hung him from a pole until he was dead. His partners in crime were also executed, although by the state, rather than an angry mob. Sometime Christmas just isn’t any fun at all, for the bad guys and the good guys alike.
The Abominable Snowman
The Abominable Snowman, also known as The Bumble, was the scary snow creature terrorizing poor Rudolph in the stop-motion holiday classic 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.' Bumble is a misunderstood monster living in an icy cave. He hates Christmas and reindeer so much that he imprisons Rudolph and his pals in his freezing lair.
After Rudolph and the rest are freed from captivity, Bumble’s hard feelings toward Christmas change (this seems to happen a lot with fictional Christmas antiheroes), although he has to get all of his teeth knocked out for this change to come about. At least Bumble won’t have to worry about cavities from all of the holiday sweets he'll devour.
The Drunken Christmas Float Driver
Here’s a tale about another real life Christmas criminal. While this man’s crimes might not rank up there with some of the holiday bank robbers on this list, driving around in a massive holiday float while drunk is still pretty bad.
David Allen Rodgers got loaded while motoring around in a Christmas float full of children. His criminal driving caught the attention of local police when he tried to pass other floats in the parade. He was slapped with a DUI and kidnapping charges (because of the children), and most likely lost his float-driving privileges for the rest of his life. At least he can still watch the parades on TV from his sofa, where it doesn’t matter if he’s sober or not.
'Die Hard’s' Hans Gruber
Back in the day, in the very first 'Die Hard' movie, Bruce Willis has to battle the fictional character Hans Gruber, played deliciously by the English actor Alan Rickman. Gruber is in the midst of a large Christmas heist that Willis' character John McClane happens to fall into the center of. One of the best moments in the movie comes when Bruce Willis delivers a dead bad guy to Hans with a note written across the corpse’s chest reading, "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."
Fake Christmas Liposuction
People want to look good for the holidays. When the festivities are over, they might worry about some of the excessive weight they’ve gained from all of the rich food they've ingested. Even so, that doesn’t mean you can be a Scrooge and sell folks fake liposuction.
Carlos Guzmangarza did just that. He was arrested on December 22, 2011 in San Francisco for impersonating a doctor and performing cosmetic procedures without a license to do so. The actual case he was taken in for occurred some time earlier, but his "fake" surgery clinic was shut down just in time for the holiday season. When your plastic surgeon smokes a cigar during your procedure, and drops fat on the floor, that’s a good sign that you should get out of there as fast as possible. Just make sure the IV bag is detached before you bolt.
Old Man Potter
Old Man Potter, of 'It's a Wonderful Life' fame, is the quintessential holiday malcontent. Mr. Potter is a merciless man with no heart who makes life miserable for everyone around him. Potter loves money and order almost as much as he hates the holiday spirit and generosity. He almost drives the story’s hero, George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) to suicide by telling him that he’s "…worth more dead than alive." All in all, Potter is a nasty fellow, and unlike many holiday "bad" guys, he finds no redemption for his evil ways in the end.