A Bah Humbug Christmas
I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.
– Marley, A Christmas Carol
Who would you say embodies the epitome of Christmas Cheer? Santa? Kris Kringle? Frosty the Snowman? I’m sure Ebenezer Scrooge doesn’t even make the bottom of the list. But year after year, I return to Scrooge and his 3 Christmas spirits.
Did you know that Charles Dickens released a Christmas story almost every year? The Haunted Man, The Ghost’s Bargain, and Christmas Stories. With his stories, he kept the hope and cheer of Christmas alive. He’s even been referred to as “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”
But Christmas in Dickens’ Victorian England looked different from the Christmas we see today. It wasn’t until the 1840s that the Christmas tree became a wide-spread tradition. And in Dickens’ time, people started exploring new Christmas traditions, like Christmas cards.
Dickens wrote for a Victorian audience, but Scrooge’s story still resonates today. For my family, Scrooge’s bah humbug attitude has become our tradition.
Christmas-time usually brings out the best in everyone: the salvation army donation bins appear outside stores and Pay-it-Forward chains increase. Giving becomes the magic word.
But Scrooge’s transformation goes beyond Christmas-time. Dickens asks you to look at the chain you forged in life. Money brings temporary happiness. But joy, that’s harder to achieve. Joy comes from family and friends and love. Sometimes all it takes is a smile towards a stranger. But that joy is lasting.
So each year I’ll return to the pages of A Christmas Carol. I already know that Scrooge will transform, become a happier person, find joy. I know that “decreasing the surplus population” is not the solution. But that doesn’t stop me.
So, A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.