Ally’s #1: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

I’m having trouble letting go of Christmas this year since I felt like it came and went too quickly. So, I opted to read this story and to see how it differed from the two movies I’ve seen (Scrooged and A Muppet Christmas Carol) based on Charles Dickens tale from the 1800s.

Hollywood, dancing puppets, and Bill Murray definitely give the story a different feeling, and while I enjoy watching these films, I prefer the original. I think the darkness of Ebenezer Scrooges heart appears darker when described in words; similarly, the softening of his heart during his visits with the three Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future seems all the more tender when you’re not thinking about how cute Kermit the Frog is.

I like how the author progresses through the visitation of the Spirits and their impact on Scrooge. First, Scrooge sees that loneliness and isolation began in his childhood, and that being lifted out of poverty as a young adult quickly trumped all other aspects of life that were once precious, especially relationships. Second, Scrooge is given a glimpse of what he is missing out on by being such a humbug this Christmas. He also is made aware of the various impressions those who know him have about his lifestyle and sour personality. In this visitation, I especially liked how the Spirit turned Scrooges own venomous words on him and how painful it sounded to his ears once he began to feel compassion towards those he had formerly looked down on. Lastly, the Spirit of Christmas Future walks Scrooge through a number of scenes that speak so profoundly for themselves that the Spirit doesn’t need to utter a word for Scrooge to be totally rocked to the core.

I loved that this book was a good reminder of how the Holy Spirit can change us both dramatically and incrementally. By the end of the story, Scrooge is completely transformed and every aspect of his life is altered as a result. While he can’t undo the wrong of his entire life, he awakes Christmas morning with the determination and overwhelming joy to correct all that is within his power in the present. To awaken with determination…that is what I aspire to.

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