We all know Scrooge, don’t we? From either the book of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, or the film. And, despite not rooting for him at the beginning – he’s not the most generous of human beings – counting his money and ignoring the needs of those around him, especially the Cratchit family, we come around to liking and admiring him by the end.
Scrooge’s story, despite being set in Victorian times, is a story for our times too. One we could learn from, without being too preachy or gloomy. Scrooge was faced with his personal ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. We have those too. We can’t fix the past, but we can predict with some accuracy what will happen to our global future, and adjust the present accordingly.
It’s simple, really. We need to consume less stuff to help the planet, and ourselves. To recognise, and really focus on, the fact that joy and pleasure in life isn’t about material excess, but love and laughter, dancing and singing, playing games (with a little bit of eating and drinking thrown in too, of course).
Scrooge teaches us the spirit of Christmas isn’t about accumulating and then discarding ‘things’, and their wrappings. If we choose to do less of this we’ll be benefitting the Earth and the plants and animals that live here. It’s something we all know, deep in our hearts, and many of us act upon it. Things are changing, and the time to change is now. Really, it’s a thoroughly modern book and film.
Like Scrooge at the end of the book (or the film!), we too could skip with joy at the thought of spending time with close friends and family, because we have done the right thing, taken heed of the future, and lived ethically and sustainably in Christmas Present.