This past weekend, you might have seen the new film The Man Who Invented Christmas, the colorful tale of how Charles Dickens wrote the classic story A Christmas Carol. As portrayed in the movie, Dickens’ story had much to do with bringing the celebration of Christmas back to life.
In Protestant England, celebration of feast days like Christmas was unheard of, especially by the working classes. Dickens’ story came at a time of Christmas revival. Christmas cards came back into style and the tradition of decorating Christmas trees was brought to England by Queen Victoria’s German husband Prince Albert.
But the spirit of Christmas—the truth that Christmas is a time of joy, forgiveness, compassion, and giving in imitation of the Christ Child—was reintroduced through A Christmas Carol. Since the publication of this classic story, Dickens has been closely associated with the celebration of Christmas. Dickens might not have “invented” the feast of Christmas, but his writing has had a profound effect on how we celebrate one of the greatest Christian feasts of the year.
Because of the emphasis that Dickens places on the Christmas spirit of giving and goodwill, it comes as no surprise that A Christmas Carol supports a culture of life! We are all part of the same human family. When one person suffers, it affects all of us. Through the characters of Scrooge and Tiny Tim, we catch a glimpse of what happens when we neglect the weakest and most vulnerable members of society. Dickens’ classic story reminds us of the beauty of the feast of Christmas and the duty we have to reach out to others in our society and to help them.
As Scrooge learns, this Christmas spirit shouldn’t be reserved for only one day a year. We all need to learn how to keep the Christmas spirit alive in our hearts all year long, not just on every December 25.
Are you reading A Christmas Carol with your family this year? Use this lesson to guide your reading. Students learn what it takes to reach out to the “Scrooges” in daily life and come to understand how they need to treat each person with dignity, regardless of how they are treated in return.
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Laura Kizior is the Digital Media and Communciations Manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on Verily.com, CatholicMom.com, LifeSiteNews.com, Celebrate Life Magazine, TeachersSavingChildren.org, and in the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance newsletter.