I reread A Christmas Carol recently, because it’s a thing I do every year and it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t.
(Not to be pushy, but if you’ve never read it, DO SO NOW! Here’s an online version if you don’t own a copy. I recommend you read it slowly, to get all of that great Dickens’ humor.)
Anyway, yesterday as I was listening to the radio, I heard the DJ call his brother a Scrooge because he was complaining about the nonstop Christmas music. The DJ was wrong on two counts:
- It’s perfectly reasonable to complain about Christmas music. I wrote about it HERE.
- It’s flat-out wrong to call such a complainer a Scrooge, because Scrooge was a happy man who loved everything to do with Christmas! Why do we always forget that part?
A Christmas Carol is about the transformation of mean-spirited old miser into a joyous, generous man. To call someone a Scrooge should be a compliment, not an insult.
Or maybe we don’t believe the transformation really happened? Maybe we believe that it worked for a few days, but in time, as these things usually go, all his good intentions faded away, old habits are hard to break, yada-yada-yada.
To that I say: That’s not the story Dickens told!
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.
And as Dickens is the author, we’ll have to take his word for it.
But even more than that, consider the fact that Scrooge’s resolution was not to eat less, lose weight, or get his closet reorganized.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees!
Scrooge’s plan was to live with an awareness of his own mortality, to let go of his past sorrows, and to live in a state of wonder and love toward all.
I’m certain Dickens got it right. I think it can be done.
… and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!
Indeed, God bless us!
May we all learn to keep Christmas well.
Note: I’ll be taking next week off to tinker on the blog and maybe make a few changes/updates. In the meantime, have a wonderful, folly-filled time!