Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, is a cold-hearted, selfish miser who hates Christmas. His name has come to represent greed and a mean spirit. Scrooge's catchphrase, "Bah, humbug!" is often used to express disgust with Christmas traditions. But was it really Christmas that Scrooge hated?
...it can be easy to forget good manners and the true spirit of the season...
With the recent downturns in the economy it can be easy to forget good manners and the true spirit of the season, which are thankfulness and generosity. Just as in A Christmas Carol, a real life journey to Christmas Past, Present and Future could do us all some good.
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We have all been wronged by another from time to time. Scrooge thought he was wronged by his lover, Belle, when she married another man. This was the catalyst for Scrooge’s meanness and what turned him into a greedy, paranoid workaholic. It was his ambition that stood in the way of a personal relationship, driving Belle away. The Ghost of Christmas Past revealed to Scrooge that Belle was only looking after her own self interest for love, happiness and family - things she felt Scrooge had no desire or time for, as he had developed more interest in money than in her.
...even though Tiny Tim’s family had few material things to offer each other, they had the greatest offering of all, love.
When Scrooge is taken to Christmas Present, the spirit reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children clinging to his robes, the boy, Ignorance, and the girl, Want, and the spirit warns Scrooge of their evils. He is also shown that even though Tiny Tim’s family had few material things to offer each other, they had the greatest offering of all, love.
In Christmas Future, Scrooge is then taken to an unkempt graveyard, where he is shown his own grave, and realizes that the dead man whom the others spoke ill of was himself. It is implied that the future does not have to be like this—a cheap tombstone in an overgrown cemetery, but Scrooge must change himself if he is to change his future.
...one bah-humbug away from a cheap tombstone...
Put yourself to the test and find out if you're alive with the Christmas Spirit or if you're one bah-humbug away from a cheap tombstone adorned with weeds and late night hecklers.
A group of carolers knock at your door to serenade you. Do you:
+1 Enjoy their singing, and give them all your change.
+2 Turn the lawn sprinklers on and hide in a back room.
+3 Release the hounds.
Who do you usually give Christmas cards to?
+1 Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, the mailman...everyone's on my list!
+2 Only people who send them to me first.
Shopping for presents is:
+1 Great - I love looking for just the right thing for my loved ones.
+2 I do all my Christmas shopping the day after Christmas when I can get good deals.
+3. Time consuming and expensive; I do as little of it as possible and dread the day after Thanksgiving.
If you were spending Christmas out of town would you bother to put up decorations?
+1 Absolutely - I wouldn't dream of missing out on all the holiday cheer.
+2 Maybe a little tinsel.
+3 Don't be ridiculous - I never decorate if I don’t have to.
Your best friend gives you the ugliest item of clothing for Christmas. Do you:
+1 Tell her it's lovely and wear it the next time you see her regardless of how awful it looks.
+2 Ask her if she kept the receipt so you can exchange it.
+3 Put it into the garage sale pile.
A friend leaves a message inviting you over for Christmas dinner. Do you:
+1 Immediately call back and ask what time you should be there.
+2 Tell them you’re a little sick from a bad fruitcake.
+3 Next time you see them act like you didn’t get the message
Time to add it up!
If your score was:
6-8 You are a great lover of Christmas and by no means a Scrooge. Go on and spread your holiday cheer with pride.
9-12 You may be on your way to becoming a Scrooge. Maybe give some consideration to your Christmas Past and think about why you really feel the way you do. Try watching It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street.
13-18 Okay Scrooge, time to look at Christmas Future. Nobody likes a Scrooge. Is this the way you want to be remembered? Ugly, Mean and Greedy?
...there is always time to change.
Just remember, no matter how big of a Scrooge you are, there is always time to change. If you take the time to be nice, people will gladly forget your past indiscretions and welcome you into their hearts…and we all could use that, not only at Christmas, but all year long!
GET OUT THERE!
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