Every year at Christmas, I try to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Not only is it a ghost story, but it’s a great message and has a meaning that I think we all understand. The change and redemption of someone. It’s a fantastic book that lets you travel to an older time, a London that no longer exists, when times were different and the people had different lives than ours today.
I was thinking, though, of how it’s been warped in our culture. When we know someone that doesn’t celebrate Christmas or is grumpy about the holiday season or they are tight with their money – we call them a Scrooge.
That’s a grave injustice to the wonderful story that Mr. Dickens wrote. The only part that people focus on is the beginning and how Scrooge was to start with. Our view of the story gets a bit skewed that way.
It should be an honor to be called Scrooge. This man was so set in his ways and his thinking that he didn’t realize what he was missing or how he was making not only his own life but other’s lives miserable. But someone saw something deep down in Scrooge’s soul and gave him a chance to make amends, to enrich his own life and the lives of those around him.
For his part, Scrooge wasn’t so far gone that he ignored it or refused to change. He saw what he had become and how he could do things differently. He saw how much he affected other’s lives and could choose to make them better instead of worse.
And he made that difference. He made that change with himself and thereby he changed the world around him. He made other people’s lives better.
There is a bit at the end that I think is super-important and something that is very relevant to today. This is from the end:
“Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this , for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed that was quite enough or him.”
That could have been written today. So, please, if you feel like it, call me Scrooge. I would be honored.