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A Christmas Tradition

A Christmas Tradition

From the time I was a very small child every December 1st we had a family tradition. My mother would begin reading Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol to us every evening. Once dinner was finished and the dishes were done, we would make hot chocolate and set out plates of goodies. We would settle down in the living room around my mother as she read from this wonderful Christmas classic. I remember the warmth and comfort as we all nestled together listening to the words of the story and the powerful lessons contained within the pages. My mother had the timing down so perfectly that we always finished on Christmas Eve.

As a child I could not imagine anyone as miserable and mean as Ebenezer Scrooge. Jacob Marley with his chains of guilt clacking as he walked Scrooge through his past, present and future lives terrified me. Bob Cratchit and his son Tiny Tim filled my heart with sadness and brought tears to my eyes every year. How could anyone not see or understand the blight of others and not do something to help? Today, whenever I hear the phrase “don’t be a Scrooge” or “Bah! Humbug!” it conjures up images of love, family, tradition and the power that is in each of us to choose to be kind, giving and loving. This Christmas season, as I do every year, I will again read A Christmas Carol and probably shed a tear for Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim and rejoice at Ebenzer’s transformation.

A Christmas Carol was first published in December of 1843, and today 172 years later the lessons of giving and kindness still ring true today.

May your Christmas traditions be filled with love, peace and goodwill.

Written by: Joan Niemeier