Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lessons from "A Christmas Carol"

We read "A Chrismas Carol" with my second grade class yesterday (I am an instructor for a charter school), and although the version we read was far from the real version--three pages long!-- it caused me to reflect on all of the beautiful things in Dickens' book. One things I remember from the book is how people of the city walked around, singing carols and rejoicing with friends and strangers because Christ was born. To these people, nothing else mattered. Their problems took a backseat and all that was before them was joy: joy in family, warmth, friendship, and, most importantly, joy in our Savior. Here's one passage that I particularly like, a scene between Scrooge and his nephew:

'"Don't be cross, uncle,'' said the nephew.

"What else can I be,'' returned the uncle, "when I live in such a world of fools as this Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas. What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,'' said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about "with ``Merry Christmas'' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!''

"Uncle!'' pleaded the nephew.

"Nephew!'' returned the uncle, sternly, "keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.''

"Keep it!'' repeated Scrooge's nephew. "But you don't keep it.''

"Let me leave it alone, then,'' said Scrooge. "Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!''

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,'' returned the nephew: "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!'''

What reason do we have to be merry? Because it's Christmas--there is no better reason to be found. In fact, it's reason enough to be merry and rejoice the whole year round. May we take advantage of that reason, forgetting our problems, and having the wonder of Christmas and everything it means in our hearts!

1 comment:

  1. Like Bob's enthusiastic response to Fred's speech, I applaud your blog!