A Christmas Carol, although occurring at a different time period than today, still holds values and lessons that are important in society today. The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, starts off having no feelings for others and no Christmas spirit, but changes from his gloomy, dark appearance to a carefree, child-like person at the end. Dickens shows in A Christmas Carol that personal greed will lead to peril, while kindness and generosity lead to personal happiness.
It saddened me to learn of Scrooge’s lonely childhood. I could picture him sitting all alone at school, emotionally abandoned by his father, waiting for his sister to come tell him there may be a happy Christmas. There are so many children in the world today that are in this same situation. It saddens me to know that there a children who never get to open a present on Christmas morning. It seemed as his childhood progressed and his love for Belle grew, his love for money and greed grew faster until he lost everything but his money. So much emphasis is placed on the monetary value of things today that it is possible anyone could fall into this same lifestyle.
When the second ghost comes to see Scrooge, we see the Cratchit family. This family reminds me of the Christmases my family spent together. We didn’t always get everything we wanted but we always had a good meal and the fellowship of family. I always hate the commercialization of Christmas. I think that Christmas should be a time of togetherness and sharing, not a time of “who gets the most presents.” The Cratchit family enjoyed spending the time they had with each other regardless of what they had or didn’t have.
The third ghost could be a lesson to us all. As we all get caught up in our own lives, we tend to forget that there are people in the world that are much worse off than we are. Scrooge sees that his life meant no more than money and greediness when there are no mourners for him. All people said was that a rich man had died. No one saw his personal belongings as mementoes or treasures, just things that could be sold for a few dollars.
Finally, grateful for a second chance, Scrooge begins to see Christmas as a joyful occasion and starts acting accordingly. We all know that it is better to give than to receive, but we tend to forget this sometimes. I think it is wonderful that Scrooge finds his way to be a happy and giving person. Not only does it brighten other people’s lives, it also makes his life more rewarding.
I have always loved this story in the many forms that there are of it. It is a wonderful story of the giving spirit of Christmas. I sometimes think that everyone needs a “wake-up call” to remind them that money is not everything. If we all cared more about each other and less about ourselves, the world might be a more pleasant place to live.