Leave it to us humans (and book readers) to always focus on the negative, because that’s what we do when we think about Charles Dickens’ famous character Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Who is Scrooge? The meanest, rudest, stingiest, Christmas hum-bug that ever lived. Every time we reference someone who’s not demonstrating the spirit of the holiday, we call them a Scrooge. We whisper a few hum-bugs in their direction and wish them a night filled with visits from strange spirits.
By doing this, we are completely missing the point of Dickens’ story. It’s a story of restitution – redemption – second chances. For while Dickens’ started his story by using Scrooge to describe the very opposite of the reason for the season, so Dickens’ also ends the story by giving us an example of the person who best demonstrated the magic and wonderment of the season. And by golly, that too was Scrooge.
Why do we remember him for his ill-manners and not for his kindness? Why do we remember Scrooge for his stinginess and not for his generosity?
Why Scrooge is really the perfect Christmas role model! He ends up blessing the person whom he used the most. (Cratchet) He rebuilds a bridge back to his broken family. How difficult is that? He was willing to admit his wrongness and humble himself back into the grace of his kin. It takes tremendous character to do something like that. He also becomes the benefactor of a young, crippled boy. (Tiny Tim) He gives us all an example of what Christmas truly is all about — showing love to others as is demonstrated by the Christmas baby in the manger.
We need more Scrooges in this world. We need people who are willing to understand their faults, right their wrongs, and give to those who need it most.
May we all find our inner Scrooge this Christmas!
Have a merry one!