With my tree not up, half my shopping left to do, and a head cold coming on, I think it’s safe to say that I am having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. I am also beginning to think that Scrooge may have had the right idea.
Think about it. Here is a guy that preferred to stay home rather than fight the crowds trying to do their last-minute preparations for the big day. I, too, prefer the safety and sanctity of my own space. In my own space, I do not have to stare down a strange child as he approaches my youngest with something called a claw grabber. I do not have to wonder why such an object is within a child’s reach. I also do not have to silently curse the man not paying attention to his son, who is using the grabber to take other objects off the shelf at the front of the store. (Perhaps this is why a grabber was there in the first place. The kid breaks. The dad buys. But in the world of Scrooge, such corporate schemes do not touch me.)
In the end, my Scrooge-like disposition worked in my favor. The kid saw scary lady staring him down and ran to hide behind his dad.
Scrooge also gets a bad rap for being a penny-pincher. True, he took things to extremes, but you can’t blame a guy (or gal) for wanting to save a buck, especially in a tough economy. My parents were raised by people who lived through the Great Depression, so they learned how to pinch pennies from the masters. I have inherited some of that knowledge. Like my father, I yell at the various members of my household for leaving lights on or failing to shut the front door. (Letting the cold air in — or out depending on the season — is a punishable offense.) And like my mother, I cannot resist a bargain. That is the only joy I get from shopping — making the most out of my money. (When you are responsible for paying the bills, you tend to watch where the money goes, and if too much of it goes toward, say, lighting the house for Christmas, you just might find yourself ripping the lights off the house and screaming “Humbug” for the whole neighborhood to hear.)
Of course, there is a downside to living like Scrooge. You don’t experience the joy of Christmas. In spite of my dislike of shopping and the lack of motivation I have for decorating the house, I have my children to think about. Like Tiny Tim, they need the Christmas spirit. The innocent anticipation. The thrill of getting that special gift. The festivity and family. Perhaps seeing Christmas through their eyes will give this Scrooge a much-needed change of heart. I’ll give it a try, anyway.
God bless us, every one! (Now where’s the friggin’ tinsel?)