Christmas: 3 Tricky Time Themes

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Christmas traditions, history, origin, definition, and facts can be found in the encyclopedia, but the annual stories and movies we love to hear and watch stir the emotions.

The most intriguing themes are the tricky concepts of time in one of the most famous Christmas stories, along with ideas presented on greed, forgiveness, the damaging effects of isolation, generosity and compassion.

Author, Charles Dickens was the most popular novelist of his time. His writing depicted a fictional world that reflects the social and technological changes of the Victorian era. A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s famous novella, has multiple themes displayed through the main character’s transformation from a miserly, greedy, and lonely man into an empathetic and kind individual. Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from money-pinching grouch to generous gentleman happens because of the concepts of time that come in the forms of three ‘ghosts’ of the past, the present, and the future.

The three ‘ghosts’ of the past, the present, and the future aka ‘yet to come’ are great for self-examination.

When you reflect on the past, you can see how far you have come. You can shift your perspective in any type of situation and reassess.  Exhale the past.

When you consider the present, being thankful is the first thought.  The key of faith may unlock the meaning of life. Be in awe of vast universe around us. As astronomers and the physicists get nearer to the ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. Be grateful for your life and for your body and mind. Breathe in gratitude.

When you envision the future you imagine the possibilities in the form of visualization based on the choices you are making now and what you desire. Future focus on what is ‘yet to come’ gives you something to focus on and look forward to. You can change your future.  Inhale the future.

“Vividly imagine, deeply desire, enthusiastically act upon and put into practice that which you want to come into being.”

Sherrie Rose

At Christmas time, people forget their petty disputes, selfish tendencies, and workaholic schedules in favor of family, friendship, charity, and celebration. It is said that when the original novella was released in December… just before Christmas, that charitable donations when up substantially because of the theme of giving to help out those in need. Generosity involves more than the giving of money, it is also about the giving of one’s goodwill, compassion, sympathy, empathy, and kindness.

Noteworthy quotes

“Bah, humbug!”

“Nobody stopped him in the street to say… ‘My dear Scrooge, how are you?'”

“Money can’t buy a happy life, or a peaceful death.”

“The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

 “I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

“May you be happy in the life you have chosen.”

“These are but shadows of the things that have been… They have no consciousness of us”.

“I release you. With a full heart, for the love of him you once were.”

“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.”

“There are some upon this earth of yours… who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived.”

“Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be in the sight of heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.”

Though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

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

“I have always thought of Christmastime…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time… when men and women…open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not…creatures bound on other journeys.”

The famous last words of the novella–“God bless us, Every one!

Merry christmas 2021

The study guide illustrates the following:
Scrooge falls asleep and wakes up to find the Ghost of Christmas Past, a small, elderly figure. The Ghost shows Scrooge scenes from the past that trace Scrooge’s development from a young boy, lonely but with the potential for happiness, to a young man with the first traces of greed that would deny love in his life. Scrooge shows newfound emotion when revisiting these scenes, often crying from identification with his former neglected self.

Scrooge goes to sleep and is awakened by the Ghost of Christmas Present, a giant with a life span of one day. He shows Scrooge several current scenes of Christmas joy and charity, then shows him the Cratchit household. The Ghost informs Scrooge that unless the future is changed, the Cratchit’s crippled and good-hearted young son, Tiny Tim, will die. He also shows Scrooge the party at Fred’s house. Finally, a ragged boy and girl crawl out from the Ghost’s robes. The Ghost calls them Ignorance and Want and warns Scrooge to beware of Ignorance.

The silent, black-clad Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come replaces the other ghost. He shows Scrooge several scenes of people discussing someone’s death; no one seems pained by the death, and most are happy about it. Scrooge does not know, however, who the man is. He learns that Tiny Tim has died, but the Cratchits maintain their unity and love. Scrooge finally discovers that he is the one who has died and whose death has only pleased people. He expresses the hope that these scenes of the future can be changed, and vows to incorporate the lessons of the past, present, and future into his adoption of the Christmas spirit.

Scrooge wakes up in his bedroom and learns that the whole adventure took only one night, not three it is Christmas Day. In addition to smiling and being friendly to everyone he sees, he sends a large turkey to the Cratchits, gives a sizable donation to the charity worker he previously insulted, and has a wonderful time at Fred’s party. The next day he gives Cratchit a raise. Scrooge continues his kindly ways after Christmas, befriending everyone and becoming a second father to Tiny Tim, who does not die. He never sees the ghosts again, but he keeps the spirit of Christmas alive in his heart as well as anyone.   

Why did Scrooge make such a great change? On Christmas Eve, he was visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Getting perspective on how life at Christmas used to be for him, how it is now (for real), and, then, how grim it will be in the future caused Scrooge to wake up Christmas morning fully committed to changing things in the present, learning from the past, and making big moves to bring about a better future.

You can make break out and begin again in your life too, when you commit to making the right changes, and you discover how to stop your past from determining your future. Check out the book, The Cocoon Conundrum.