It seems like yesterday when we were celebrating Christmas and welcoming a new year. Now the ghost of Christmas past has taken last Christmas and we have all committed it to memory.
Some of us have happy memories and some of us have sad memories; the most unfortunate among us have no memories of last Christmas at all.
The new year is now the old year and we’re all getting ready to flip a calendar page and say goodbye to another year and look to the future with high hopes that the new year will bring us all health, happiness, and perhaps most of all: Peace. Peace in our personal lives and peace on Earth.
Christmas is a time for gahtering together with our friends and families. Let no one forget why it is that we celebrate Christmas.
To me, besides those things, Christmas is a time for reflection.
I just re-read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens – for the umpteenth time. Every time I read it I take away a new feeling or a new thought. Today I spent thinking a lot about this passage from “A Christmas Carol” when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present.
The Ghost of Christmas present opens his royal green robe and beneath it are two starving children with sunken eyes and for all the world looking as if they were on the doorstep of death.
Ghost of Christmas Present: “Look upon these!”
Ebenezer Scrooge: [Withdrawing in horror] “What are they?”
Ghost of Christmas Present: “They are your children! They are the children of all who walk the earth unseen! Their names are Ignorance and Want! Beware of them! For upon their brow is written the word “doom!” They spell the downfall of you and all who deny their existence!”
Ebenezer Scrooge: “Have they no refuge, no resource?”
Ghost of Christmas Present: [smiles, mocking him from an earlier conversation] “Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?”
Ebenezer Scrooge looking down at the children, “Cover them. I do not wish to see them.”
Ghost of Christmas Present: “I thought as much.”
( The Ghost of Christmas Present closes his robe to conceal the children.)
Ghost of Christmas Present: “They are hidden… but they live… oh, they live.”
This passage made me think of the children who won’t have a chance to have a Merry Christmas because their parents can’t afford to buy presents, or a tree; they can’t even afford to make this special day any different from the others.
Some of the greatest memories of my childhood are of Christmas, and not because of the presents… it’s warmth of love, of family, and the special feeling of Christmas. It’s sad that many children will never share a single good memory of Christmas.
I am reminded also, of the hungry, the starving, the poor children in the huts and villages in other parts of the world, whose stomachs are swollen with hunger and whose spirits are bereft of hope.
It makes me think of the children whose parents are ill and in the hospital, or whose parents are far away in the military, or locked away in prisons. And I can’t forget the millions of children come from broken homes and from families who cannot or choose not to gather together in the Spirit of Christmas and love.
It makes me think about the millions of people on this Earth for whom Christmas is another day of struggle. Struggling to find food and clean water for themselves and for their children. It reminds me that millions of people, at this very moment are struggling to find a warm, dry place to sleep. It makes me stop and think about he struggle of many who don’t have accesses to medicines and medical care and who die from diseases which I would easily survive.
Most of us live in wealthy countries, but none so much as those of us who live in the United States.
As Christmas approaches, I cannot help but pay attention to TV commercials, and the more more I see the more I think about those children – the ones we don’t want to see: Ignorance and Want.
I see commercials for $80,000 Lexus cars with big red bows wrapped around them. And a husband making a wife close her eyes, until he tells her to open them and see her Christmas present… a car.
I saw commericals trying to convince me that the only proof of love is a diamond costing thousand of dollars. Does it mean I love someone if I spend $5000 on a diamond necklase or a diamond ring. I don’t think so, yet many believe so.
What if those who could afford to give $5000 diamond rings or buy $80,000 cars, decided to buy a $2500 diamond or a $40,000 car and took the rest of the money they would have spend and gave it to the children, the ones named Ignorance and Want – the ones we all try so hard to pretend don’t exisit.
And what if no one bought diamonds but instead showed their love by giving their time and money to those in need – especially the children who have no choices in life?
And it’s just not the wealthy you don’t want to look about Ignorance and Want – most of us don’t give much thought to those far less fortunate than we are.
These are some of my thoughts inspired by the writing of Charles Dickens. I wanted to share them with you. I hope these words will make you think too.
We can hide those poor wretched children from our sight but they still exist – oh yes they exist. Just because we close our eyes and pretend they do not doesn’t mean don’t live and struggle. Many thousands of chrildren die each day from hunger – yet we spend hundreds of billiond of dollars giving gifts to each other, because it’s Christmas.
This Christmas, let’s remember the reason for Christmas. Let’s remember the Man who told us to love each other. Let’s remember the Man who said that where our treasure lies, the lies our heart also. Let us remember the Man, the Reason we celebrate Christmas, by remembering those less fortunate than ourselves. And pray that we never forget they exist.
This Christmas, be thankful for what you have, be thankful for your family and enjoy this special time of year.Be mindful of those huddled in dark places struggling to stay warm, of the children whose bellies are swollen by hunger, of parents who are desperate and in despair because they cannot provide the bare necessities of life for their families. Think of the children whose lives are ripped apart by things they cannot control.
This Christmas, think of those two dying children hidden under the robe – the ones whose names are Ignorance and Want. Think of them and never forget them for they live – oh they live!
Open your heart this Christmas and remember the Man who is the reason for Christmas.
Count your blessings and spend this Christmas with your family and friends. Never forget that love is the greatest gift of all – this Christmas make the biggest gift you give, the gift of love.
Wishing you and those you love all the best at Christmas and always!
Darcy & TC