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This is a re-post from last Christmas Eve, when  I shared the following about  my favorite movies about the season. It is  A Christmas Carol, the story of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge written by Charles Dickens in 1843 during the industrial revolution in England. It was a dirty era and the plight of the poor was desperate.

This Dickens’ tale is not a religious telling of the story of Christmas, but it does, at least for me, talk about the ability of a person to transform one’s life by changing the way they treat their neighbor.

In case you are new to the story, here is the plot (contains spoilers). This from  David Perdue’s Charles Dickens Site, an excellent source for all things Dickens:

Ebenezer Scrooge is a penny-pinching miser in the first degree. He cares nothing for the people around him, and mankind exists only for the money that can be made through exploitation and intimidation. He particularly detests Christmas which he views as ‘a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer’. Scrooge is visited, on Christmas Eve, by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley, who died seven Christmas Eves ago.

Marley, a miser from the same mold as Scrooge, is suffering the consequences in the afterlife and hopes to help Scrooge avoid his fate. He tells Scrooge that he will be haunted by three spirits. These three spirits, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, succeed in showing Scrooge the error of his ways. His glorious reformation complete, Christmas morning finds Scrooge sending a Christmas turkey to his long-suffering clerk, Bob Cratchit, and spending Christmas day in the company of his nephew, Fred, whom he had earlier spurned.

Scrooge’s new-found benevolence continues as he raises Cratchit’s salary and vows to assist his family, which includes Bob’s crippled son, Tiny Tim. In the end Dickens reports that Scrooge became ‘ as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew’.

What changes in old Ebenezer’s life?

He realizes, thanks to the ghostly visits from his former business partner and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and Christmases yet to come (the scariest of the three), that he can’t change what has gone before, the future has not yet been written in stone, but he can chose to live his life based on love in the present moment. Scooge can choose to became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew…”

 

In the clip below Scrooge literally introduces the new joyful Ebenezer to a startled Bob Cratchit and the transformed Scrooge admits that for the first time in a long time that  he is a happy man.

Christmas is about transformation and Dickens captures the nature of personal transformation as beautifully as any writer past or present.

Dickens concludes his story:

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. 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 globe, 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: and that was quite enough for him.


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