A man who celebrated the magic of a loving heart, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the world's best known novelists.
His classic fable, A Christmas Carol (1843) was set in England during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, a time of industrial boom where the wealthy lived in great luxury and the working class lived in great poverty.
Concerned about the living conditions of the poor, Dickens wrote with keen social conscience. He urged generosity and service to the disadvantaged and passionately advocated optimism in the face of despair. "There is always something for which to be thankful," he said.
His memorable character Ebenezer Scrooge was the nasty, selfish miser who sacrificed love for the pursuit of money. "Darkness is cheap," described Dickens. "And Scrooge liked it."
Indeed Scrooge hated Christmas. " . . . every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart," he said.
Dickens crafted Scrooge's uplifting redemption with the help of Marley's ghost and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Scrooge, and all of us, are transformed by the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving and love. "Genius is childhood recaptured at will," Dickens said.
"Many merry Christmases, friendships, great accumulation of cheerful recollections, affection on earth, and Heaven at last for all of us," Dickens said.
"God Bless Christmas!"
Keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year.