Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas Much Maligned And Misunderstood

If you had a sniveling, whinning, and unappreciative employee like Bob Crachit what kind of employer would you be?
If you had a sniveling, whining, and unappreciative employee like Bob Crachit what kind of employer would you be?

Ebenezer Scrooge was a realist and visionary, but eventually he sold out.

Charles Dickens, who created the character Scrooge, hated rich people and aristocrats, which he eventually became. He made a literary career out of exploiting the poor and profiting from their misery. In many ways not much different from the Scrooge he vilified.

Scrooge, though, was doing no more than what any businessman of his day did. He planned to conduct business on the day that Christians wrestled from the pagans. Christmas in the mid 1800’s was viewed by many as too worldly and pagan, which in fact it was. Although Scrooge’s motives are in question, one cannot deny the rightness of his position from either an economic, religious, or a historical viewpoint.

His dreams were, I think and have ample reason to believe, induced by his sniveling and disgruntled employee Bob Crachit. It was no doubt an opium induced dream state that caused Scrooge to change his ways.

Bob Crachit somehow is viewed as a sympatric character in spite of the fact that his lack of industriousness and initiative placed him and his family in a state of poverty. Could he have not displayed an entrepreneurial spirit and start his own accounting business?

What about Tiny Tim and his affliction that rendered him to spend the rest of his life with a crutch? Was Scrooge to blame for that? No one has ever asked if Mrs. Crachit smoked or did drugs while carrying Tiny Tim. What I’m saying is that the Crachit’s cannot be entirely without blame.

Was Dickens’ book, A Christmas Carol, a victim itself of the law of unintended consequences? The very things it wanted to promote in people such as love and charity it produced the opposite – greed and loneliness. Christmas is a greed filled and motivated holiday and for many the loneliest day of the year.

What if Scrooge’s conscience pricked him some other time of year or multiple times out of the year without the overtones of being forced into giving because of some impending holiday? What if charity were something displayed throughout the year?

It is of interest to note that much of what is viewed as Christmas tradition today was  invented by the creative mind of writer Washington Irving. Christmas did not become a national holiday in the United States until 1870 and it was only then that religion and merchants hijacked it for their personal aims and use. Christmas was actually outlawed at one time in Boston and New York. Anyone singing Christmas songs were to be arrested. Likewise when Dickens conjured the Ghost of Christmas Past, there really was none – he manufactured the tradition. There was no tradition.

Displays of charity, kindness, and love displayed once a year are exactly that – ‘displays.’

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4 comments

  1. thank you for the history lesson! As a Christian, I do like “Christmas” as a celebration of Jesus’ birth. But, that isn’t what it means to the vast majority of Americans even – especially – Christians.

    I love the idea of Scrooge being nudged by his conscience to be charitable in May or August or some other time of year. Nicely done as usual!

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