In honor of this holiday, I'm going to talk about one of the quintessential Christmas books, A Christmas Carol. Most people have read this short novella or watched an adaptation of it in some form or other. My favorite is the Muppets' Christmas Carol although it is much jollier than the actual book.
Anyway, for those of you who haven't heard of this book, here's the synopsis:
Basically, Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly man who holds nothing dearer to his heart than money. One night he is visited by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, who tells Scrooge he will be visited by three spirits throughout the nigh who will try to show Scrooge the error of his ways. Throughout each episode, we learn how Scrooge ended up the way he is and what his future will look like if he keeps up with his miserly ways.
For such a short book, A Christmas Carol is a powerful mortality lesson. It teaches that kindness and generosity are the way to happiness and that money doesn't matter if you have no one to share it. Scrooge is a nasty man caring not for the poor or the less fortunate, but after seeing the plight of many people including his clerk, Bob Cratchit, his heart is changed. There is a reason that A Christmas Carol has been such an enduring Christmas tale. It teaches that each person can be redeemed and that redemption lies in our hearts. We only have to reach out for it.
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!