I'll bet most of us have started our Christmas shopping. Perhaps some of you--definitely not I!--have even finished shopping. And we're busily working on lists and plans, all in anticipation of that glorious day just 38 days from now.
This weekend, I got an early Christmas gift. One that's changing the way I look at this Christmas. My husband, our youngest son, and I went to see Disney's new version of A Christmas Carol.
Friends, you need to go see this movie. It may be the best adaptation of Dickens' story that I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of them.
But this time, as I watched poor old grouchy Ebenezer journey through his past, present, and future, I found myself in the story. It's so easy to dismiss the idea that I could ever be like Scooge--I would never wish away Christmas with a "Bah! Humbug!" And yet, as I watched the movie this time, I realized that sometimes my attitude does hold some of Scrooge's self-centeredness. Sometimes I do find myself wanting simply to protect what is rightfully mine. It may not be gold that I hoard. Instead, I may cling to the fact that I'm right (I know I'm right!) in an argument. Or I hold steadfast to an idea or ideal that would better be left behind.
The Scrooge pictured at the beginning of the movie is utterly and completely alone. He has clung to the only things that matter to him, and he is loved by no one. I found myself there, too, as I realized how isolated I can become from holding too closely to things that matter to no one but me.
The message of the movie is clear, though: it's not too late. Even the iciest of hearts can melt. And though of course I knew that's how the story was going to end, I was even more excited to witness the transformation than I'd ever been before. Oh, to see the worry and frown lines melt away from Ebenezer's face. Or Richella's face. A Christmas gift, for sure.
God bless us, every one.