Once upon a time- of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve- old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house...Next to the true story of Christmas found in the gospels, my favorite Christmas tale is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It's thought-provoking and redemptive themes help remind me each year of the true meaning of Christmas. The miserly old Scrooge's dynamic change from selfish greed to full-hearted giving and well-wishing are inspiring. I try to read some of it every year, or if I don't have the time, I try to watch it or listen to it. My favorite version is A Muppet Christmas Carol (it brings out the child in me... actually, I'm sure that is usually evident...). You can't beat cool looking puppets that dance and harmonize!
During this Season, goodwill and peace are abounding themes in songs and media and greeting cards. It wasn't this way in Dickens' time though- they didn't even have television or social media! Imagine that! The poor were on the streets being passed over by most, children and orphans were being shuttled off to work houses which were poorly conditioned and maliciously run. Christmas had become just another day. So, wanting to remedy this, Dickens went on a walk and came up with some of the best loved characters of all time- Mr. Fezziwig, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley.... the list goes on. People were inspired by the change in the life of Ebenezer Scrooge and Christmas cheer was rekindled.
In our time, Christmas has been, for some, reduced to commercialism and gain. We've forgotten the Babe in the straw and His power to redeem us. We must not let this be! We must not let gain be our master passion!
...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!
What is your favorite Christmas story?