My Christmas Thoughts
It seems like yesterday, we were celebrating Christmas and welcoming another new year. Now the ghost of Christmas past has taken last Christmas and we have all committed it to memory.
Here it is Christmastime again and 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 we will all look to the future with high hopes that the new year will be better than the old one.
Christmas is a time for gathering together with our friends and families… and besides those things, Christmas is a time for remembering and 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 looks 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 – to them this special day won’t be any different from any other day. Just another day of struggle and sorrow.
It reminds me of the hungry, the starving, the children in the huts and villages around the globe, 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. It makes me think of those whose parents are far away in the military or locked away in prisons. And I can’t forget the millions of children who come from broken families who cannot or will not be gathering together this year to celebrate Christmas.
It makes me think about the millions of people on this Earth for whom Christmas is just another day and another day of struggle. Struggling to find enough food to eat and clean water for themselves and their children. At this very moment, millions of people, at this very moment are struggling to find a warm, dry place to sleep. It makes me stop and think about the struggles of many who don’t have access to medicines and medical care and who die from diseases that I would easily survive.
As Christmas approaches, I cannot help but watch the Christmas commercials on TV. The more commercials I see, the more I think about those poor children – the ones we don’t want to see — the ones Scrooged wanted to hide. Their names? Ignorance and Want.
I see commercials for $90,000 Lexus cars with big red bows wrapped around them. And a husband making a wife close her eyes until he tells her she can open them and behold her Christmas present… a new car.
I see commercials trying to convince me that the only proof of love is a diamond costing thousands of dollars. Does it mean I love someone if I spend $5000 on a diamond necklace or a diamond ring?
What if those who can afford to give $5000 diamond rings or $90,000 cars, decided to give the money to the children, the ones named Ignorance and Want – the ones no one likes to see.
And what if we showed our love by giving our time and money to those in need – especially the children who have no choices in life? Isn’t that the spirit of Christmas?
And it’s just not the wealthy who don’t want to look at the faces of Ignorance and Want. Most of us are guilty of forgetting the many who are far less fortunate than we are.
These are just a few of the thoughts inspired by the writings 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 don’t exist doesn’t mean don’t. Many thousands of children die each day from hunger – yet we spend hundreds of billions 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 that 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. But always be mindful of those who are huddled in cold 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 let alone gifts for Christmas.
Think of the children whose lives are ripped apart by things they cannot control.
This Christmas, think of those two pathetic children hidden under the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Present – whose names are Ignorance and Want. Think of them, for they live – oh yes 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 your friends.
And don’t ever forget that love is the greatest gift of all. This Christmas make the first gift you give, the gift of love.
Wishing you and those you love all the best at Christmas and always!