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An apologetic for “A Christmas Carol”

Ever since I was a little girl, my dad always found some version of “A Christmas Carol” for us to watch during the holidays. Whether it was Bill Murray’s “Scrooged” or “A Muppet’s Christmas Carol” (his personal favorite), these movies are a common staple for many during the holiday season.

Being an avid reader, people commonly ask what my favorite book is, to which I respond Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Many people seem very surprised when I say it’s my favorite book, citing the fact that it’s been “overdone” or that it’s “too simple.” However, the simplicity of the message still rings true today.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a lonely, greedy, old man whose business partner, Marley, has been dead for seven years. One night, he visits Scrooge in his dark and cold house in the form of a shackled-down spirit to warn him that unless he changes his ways, he too will end up like Marley. After Marley’s warning, three spirits, representing the past, present and future, take Scrooge through different times in his life. These experiences change Scrooge, who becomes known as one of the most generous residents in London.

The reason why I hold “A Christmas Carol” in such high regard is simple. As Christians, we are called to form ourselves as close to Christ as possible and to constantly change the selfish part of ourselves to selflessness. Scrooge stands as an example that anyone can change once they believe they can. He went from being a cold and lonely old man to a kind and generous man.

The book also mentions Scrooge’s former fiancé, whom he drove away through his greed. This demonstrates that once we are reminded of previous actions, we can deal with our regrets and move forward in a more positive manner.

When people ask why I take the time to reread “A Christmas Carol” every Christmas Eve, I tell them that it is a reminder for me to start the year by reflecting on my past decisions and move forward in love, kindness and generosity.

And that is truly what this season and life should reflect­—people treating others with kindness. So as we move forward into 2019, put on a version of the movie or read the book and let it touch you as those spirits did Scrooge on that cold, London eve those many years ago.