Bad Scrooge Good Scrooge

Posted in Family by Benham Brothers | December 11th, 2014


Each Christmas when we were young kids we’d snuggle up as a family and watch A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. With the lights twinkling on the tree, the smell of vanilla candle in the air, and warm cookie crumbs all over our pajamas this tradition was everything Christmas!

Back then everyone said “Merry Christmas” and nobody thought a thing of it.  Every card, commercial, and catalogue was filled with the phrase.  Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year because it represented a time when everyone would lower the walls in their hearts and see others as simply fellow travelers to the grave (sorry, we had to use a line from the movie!).

What’s amazing about A Christmas Carol is that we get the chance to see two sides of Ebenezer Scrooge.  Bad Scrooge was cold, sinister, bent on selfishness and void of gratitude for what the season represented.  Christmas to Bad Scrooge was nothing more than a humbug.  If he were alive today you’d never hear the word “Christmas” leave his lips.

Good Scrooge, on the other hand, was quite the opposite.  He was full of life, love, bent on giving, overflowing with gratitude for a second chance at life and an opportunity to experience Christmas in a way he never had before.  Christmas became an opportunity to show his thankfulness through generosity.

But why the change?  If you remember, it was the lessons taught from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future that sealed the deal for Bad Scrooge, especially when he realized what lay in store for him if he didn’t get things right.  Scared out of his mind, Bad Scrooge begged for a second chance – a chance to prove that he could get it right.  When he awoke and realized that it was just a dream he was a different man.  Although nothing had changed, everything was different!

Instead of seeing the season as a “humbug” Scrooge now had hope – a hope that compelled him to give of himself through abundant generosity.  The childlike joy that filled his heart was an abounding joy that came from within.  It was as if he had been born again, as if he were a kid all over again.

And that’s just it.  In a moment, Ebenezer Scrooge captured the very essence of the Christmas spirit.  “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

Today, the new found hope and the childlike joy that Scrooge experienced at Christmas is ours for the taking.  The question is will we embrace it, or do we need to be visited by Christmas ghosts tonight?!  For the Benham family we’ll just ditto what Scrooge said:

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

Image courtesy of FrameAngel at