There are many Christmas stories that I enjoy seeing every holiday season. Some are silly, some are serious, and some are just,,,, well, odd!
There are few among us that can watch Jimmy Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life" and not get choked up when he is reunited with his life and his family. When the bell on the tree rings, we all know it's an angel getting its wings, thanks to that movie.
There is "A Christmas Story," that answers the question about just what happens when little boys stick their tongues to cold metal, and explains the dangers of a BB gun, even though one is received from Santa as a gift in spite of the warnings.
"Miracle on 34th Street" makes us all believe in the power of faith. When we believe in something enough, the magic of Christmas will work to make sure it is so.
But, my personal favorite wasn't even really written as a Christmas story. It was written as a story of redemption and hope, during a time of great suffering and poverty. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was supposed to point out to the wealthy that the poor really knew the true spirit of Christmas and of love, for possessions do not enrich us as we might believe.
We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, and the three spirits of Christmas that visit him (after, of course, the ghost of Jacob Marley drops in to shake up his world first). We know that he sees what has passed; sees what is; and sees what might be.
And, we all root for Ebenezer to wake from his slumber of greed and avarice so that he might be filled with the true Christmas spirit. We see him with his first love. We see him being ridiculed by his nephew's friends, and we see his memory defiled after his death by those who despised him in life.
And then, there are those marvelous words of the young boy with the crutches, Tiny Tim. Sitting atop his father's shoulders, or on his stool in the corner by the fire, Tim is aglow with the spirit of Christmas, giving thanks at every turn for the blessings he has received, in spite of the trouble and pain he has to endure.
When, at long last, Ebenezer Scrooge wakes on Christmas morning a new man, he does many things to signal his redemption. He gives to the poor. He expresses his love for his nephew; and, he surprises the Cratchitt family with a bounty for their Christmas beyond any expectation.
But, it is Tiny Tim Cratchitt that is handed the line that sums up the journey Scrooge has taken, and we readers as well, when he looks about the crowded table filled with food, presents and family, and says, "God bless us, everyone!"
I take my cue from Tim this year. It has been a period of ups and downs, of good and bad. We have seen economic travails, and war in foreign lands. We have witnessed human weaknesses in those we sought to admire, and we have seen good people make bad decisions.
But, there is something above and beyond all of those things. There is the peace and love promised by God in the gift of His son for our redemption. Christmas isn't about the gifts or the food. It isn't about the travel or the gatherings. It is, always has been, and always will be, about God given to the world in human form. Jesus.
So I echo the refrain, and urge all to join the song, "God bless us, everyone," and to all, a merry Christmas.
It’s all just my opinion.