Suzy gets frustrated with me and my TV choices at this time of year. I’m a sucker for Hallmark Sappy Christmas Stories, Christmas movies, and the many versions of Dickens’s classic “A Christmas Carol.” I have seen every version of it, including Bill Murray’s “Scrooged,” more than once, and I get choked up every time.

None of us wants to be like Scrooge, and it makes me wonder why we spend so much of the rest of the year trying to be just like him before he is visited by three ghosts. I think Dickens would be disappointed if we read his classic as a story that was limited to one day. When he was writing the following I don’t think he meant us to have the Christmas spirit for only one day.

1. “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

2. “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused”

3. “He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and for, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed of any walk, that anything, could give him so much happiness.”

4. “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

He certainly wanted us to take the following home and focus our future to the injustice it speaks about:

1. “They are man’s,’ said the spirit, looking down upon them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

I doubt if you have time between now and Christmas to read Dickens’s classic, but sometime during the year go to the library and check it out.

I leave you on this eve of Christmas Eve with a line we all remember, but cannot be repeated enough:

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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