A guest post written by Jeannine Brix
Many people have their own special Christmas traditions. Since 1970, one of mine has been to watch the movie, Scrooge, a musical version of the literary classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Dickens (1812 – 1870) is one of England’s greatest novelists. His 200th birthday was celebrated this year with a London revival of the stage musical by Leslie Bricusse based on the same Scrooge movie that I watch every year to begin my Christmas season celebration.
This famous author wrote several other books based on Christmas, but this first one, published in 1848, was an instant success, and since its debut has been an integral part of celebrating Christmas in the English-speaking world for over a century and a half. I remember the very first time I saw A Christmas Carol on screen. It was in my fourth grade classroom, and I won’t tell you how long ago that was, but I will tell you it was shown on a pull down screen with an 8mm projector, and it was a black and white silent movie.
This story has so permeated our culture that the name of its protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, has become synonymous with being miserly and mean-spirited. In fact, just yesterday while walking down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, I noticed a large banner in a store front window that said: “Un-Scrooge Yourself – find the holiday spirit inside!”
In pondering why A Christmas Carol has such a hold on our collective consciousness at this time of year, I have concluded that it is because of its simple yet profound theme. It is a story of redemption. And so it echoes the timeless, over-riding theme of Christianity itself – redemption. The holy promise that no matter what our shortcomings, errant ways, or misdeeds, we can be saved. That is why we so joyously celebrate the birth of the one who saves us – our Savior.
I find helpful this message from Ephesians, which outlines the path we are to follow: “… be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, we read: “The whole human family would be redeemed through the merits of Christ – through the perception and acceptance of Truth.”
So in the famous words of Dickens’ dear Tiny Tim, the message of this season is clear: “God bless us, every one!”