The End of Bah Humbug
For unto us a child is born…
Isaiah 9:6 KJV
I used to be a Scrooge. I’m not proud of it, but alas the fact remains. Now, mind you, I was never a mean sort of fellow, but a Scrooge all the same when it came to Christmas. So that you understand my past life clearly, I was certainly not a cold-hearted miser who scowled at children and sent them off to the poor house. I’ve never bellowed “Bah Humbug” at carolers singing in the streets nor wished to drive a stake of holly through the heart of anyone who walked about with Merry Christmas on their lips. I simply wished to be left alone. I suppose you could say I was a closet Ebenezer Scrooge. I went about, smiling politely at those who had purpose themselves to enjoy the season, but as for myself, it was a thing to be endured; a trial to be disposed of as soon as the 26th rolled around. Christmas songs were fine as long as they began to be sung on December 23rd and then stopped abruptly on the 26th. Hanging Christmas lights was the bane of my existence and fighting through the mobs at the mall, for just the perfect gift, (which I never found) left me filled with contempt for the season. I considered the money I spent on gifts for others a sorry excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 25th of December. But then all of that changed.
I’m not sure exactly when or how but my attribute around Christmas has arched upwards dramatically in recent years. The change was not exponential mind you; it was subtle and profound. For no apparent rhyme nor reason, the spirit of Scrooge began to melt away like a spring snow. Perhaps it was my retirement from the Post Office or the arrival of a little tribe of grandchildren, but it is all different now. I have actually begun to enjoy eggnog and sticky Figgie pudding. Hanging lights now relaxes me and Alexa cannot play enough Christmas tunes. With the stoke of a key I order gift after gift until my credit card company sends out an alert; STOP OR YOU’LL BE SENT TO DEBTORS PRISON.
Now I have always known that Jesus is the reason for the season. My distaste for the holidays has never been because I was oblivious to the fact that the Savior was born in Bethlehem. Pushing aside my disgust for the commercial trappings, I have always been grateful for the gift of God’s Son. What was it that caused this slow and steady change within me? I still don’t know but a few things stand out in my mind.
I will soon have six grandchildren who constantly remind me of the simple joys of living. I have a loving family that I am watching grow and develop. I have a good wife who has never been a Scrooge. As I contemplate my metamorphosis from a miserable skinflint to a man who laughs with Bob Cratchit, the fact that I only have a few Christmas’s left impales me upon the horns of an inescapable dilemma. I see the finish line and I want to make every Christmas count.