celebrations

Bah-Humbug!

This post is something written by Dan.  I swiped it from some of the writing he’s been doing lately. Enjoy.
Merry Christmas.

‘Bah! Hum-bug!’
The world needs more Scrooges. I would say it again, but you
can simply glance to the left if the statement takes you by surprise, and
surprise it probably does. Scrooge has become such a part of our Christmas lore
and indeed a solid part of our vernacular that ‘Don’t be such a Scrooge’ is
understood by just about everyone above the age of five. Scrooge is connected
with all that is negative: selfishness, hoarding, greed, and a tight-fisted
malevolence and indifference to the world and those who are in need. Dicken’s
character is permanently etched in our minds as the archetypal ‘bad guy’ and
the forerunner of the Grinch who stole Christmas. However, I think that Dickens
had solid hopes that we would read his little book from cover to cover. In
doing so, we come away with a very different picture of Ebenezer Scrooge. It is
the changed man at the end of the story that Dickens wants to leave us with,
not the cold as stone miser.

 Cold
indeed. The story is a constant feeling of temperature, from the cold house and
cold shoulder of Scrooge, to the warmth of hearth and home and the warmth of
jolly Fezziwig. Undoubtedly Scrooge leaves us with a shiver, but also with a
hope and a small flame like Cratchit’s by which to barely dream of warmth. This
hope is seen early in his visit with the first ghost where Scrooge produces a
tiny tear, but says instead that it is a pimple – even a blemish is better than
a tear to Scrooge. The other glimpse of hope comes when we learn Scrooge’s
first name. In thinking on this I felt that Dicken’s should have named him something
like Ichabod, a more ghastly, picturesque, and fitting name meaning ‘the glory
has departed’. What better fit for such a negative last name than such a
negative first name. But then, Dickens knowing better than me, named him
Ebenezer, and in this we see that Dickens did indeed want to leave us with a
more positive memory of old Scrooge. Ebenezer means ‘Stone of Help’.
Interestingly, when we first see his full name in print, we see it on his death
stone, which finally breaks Scrooge to the horrors of his wicked and miserly
life. A stone he was indeed, a grave stone, even a pillar of stone. But this
pillar became a stone of help, a warm hearted and open handed man who because
of his wealth was able to help so many people. Dickens, saw a world of
suffering and desperate poverty yet he remained hopeful, for he also saw people
like pillars, stones who if they could be made to cry out could become stones
of help.

This post is something written by Dan.  I swiped it from some of the writing he’s been doing lately. Enjoy.
Merry Christmas.

‘Bah! Hum-bug!’
The world needs more Scrooges. I would say it again, but you
can simply glance to the left if the statement takes you by surprise, and
surprise it probably does. Scrooge has become such a part of our Christmas lore
and indeed a solid part of our vernacular that ‘Don’t be such a Scrooge’ is
understood by just about everyone above the age of five. Scrooge is connected
with all that is negative: selfishness, hoarding, greed, and a tight-fisted
malevolence and indifference to the world and those who are in need. Dicken’s
character is permanently etched in our minds as the archetypal ‘bad guy’ and
the forerunner of the Grinch who stole Christmas. However, I think that Dickens
had solid hopes that we would read his little book from cover to cover. In
doing so, we come away with a very different picture of Ebenezer Scrooge. It is
the changed man at the end of the story that Dickens wants to leave us with,
not the cold as stone miser.

 Cold
indeed. The story is a constant feeling of temperature, from the cold house and
cold shoulder of Scrooge, to the warmth of hearth and home and the warmth of
jolly Fezziwig. Undoubtedly Scrooge leaves us with a shiver, but also with a
hope and a small flame like Cratchit’s by which to barely dream of warmth. This
hope is seen early in his visit with the first ghost where Scrooge produces a
tiny tear, but says instead that it is a pimple – even a blemish is better than
a tear to Scrooge. The other glimpse of hope comes when we learn Scrooge’s
first name. In thinking on this I felt that Dicken’s should have named him something
like Ichabod, a more ghastly, picturesque, and fitting name meaning ‘the glory
has departed’. What better fit for such a negative last name than such a
negative first name. But then, Dickens knowing better than me, named him
Ebenezer, and in this we see that Dickens did indeed want to leave us with a
more positive memory of old Scrooge. Ebenezer means ‘Stone of Help’.
Interestingly, when we first see his full name in print, we see it on his death
stone, which finally breaks Scrooge to the horrors of his wicked and miserly
life. A stone he was indeed, a grave stone, even a pillar of stone. But this
pillar became a stone of help, a warm hearted and open handed man who because
of his wealth was able to help so many people. Dickens, saw a world of
suffering and desperate poverty yet he remained hopeful, for he also saw people
like pillars, stones who if they could be made to cry out could become stones
of help.

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