In the days since Christmas, I’ve made a conscious decision to enjoy the decorations and lights of the season here at my house. Every day at 4:00 p.m. I’ve plugged in the “candles” in the windows; this year, I used orange lights. Some late afternoons, I would turn on the Christmas tree lights and sit on the couch, enjoying the “holiday glow.”
It was a pleasant and natural pause in the day.
Chaucer is alleged to have said “all good things must come to an end,” and I have been regretfully looking for a day to begin the Christmas ending. The twelfth day of Christmas was as good a day as any other and I slowly started taking things apart.
The endings of things are difficult and sad. I struggle to conclude my blog posts in a logical fashion almost every time I write them. Today, I’m contemplating how A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ended. Recall Ebenezer Scrooge’s vow as the third spirit departed, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons they teach.”
Dickens says “Scrooge was better than his word.”
Dickens’ enjoyable novella was fiction; Scrooge was a character he created. He was the product of the author’s imagination and the reader doesn’t have an opportunity to know if Scrooge really was “better than his word.”
Literature and holy books are filled with redemptive stories and parables; they’re not necessarily good or bad. The difficulty of living is that sometimes it’s boring and process-driven; spirits don’t always show up in the night to change our life’s direction. What can be done?
It’s the Thirteenth Day of Christmas.