“In Defense of Scrooge” by Jim Lavorato, reprinted from 12.22.15

by | Dec 24, 2020 | 0 comments

OK, Scrooge was a tight-waded miser who had no friends, only one nephew (for family) and was pretty much disliked by all he came in contact with.  But does that make him a bad person? In this era of inclusion Scrooge has to be accommodated.

There’s some of Scrooge in all of us.

Dicken’s character build of Scrooge is perhaps misunderstood by readers and movie-goers alike. There have been many iterations of the Scrooge character in films – at least thirty going back to the 1940s. Basically, Scrooge wanted to be left alone and asked for nothing of anyone – a rarity in today’s ‘gimme’ world.

Christmas has gravitated to a ‘giving and receiving fest’. With news broadcasters reporting how much money the average family will spend and on what items. Tech toys and gaming are big, as are drones. Apparel not so much. Gift cards are prevalent and lots of stuff is bought online. Amazon is booming. Their ship-to time is fast and, for the most part, free. But, I digress, let’s get back to Scrooge.

Not a soul in “The Christmas Carol” gives Scrooge anything. Those that he comes in contact with are unpleasant and some contemplate his demise. They talk of taking his bed linens and curtains and divvying-up his other belongings upon his death. What would Bob Cratchit and his family do without Scrooge? Simply put, Scrooge is thrifty – a valued trait in this age of spending and debt accumulation. The U.S. Government could take a lesson or two from Scrooge on the value of a dollar. Not only that, but Scrooge is diligently working on behalf of his clients, while saving on energy and air pollution by conserving the use of coal.

His nephew, Fred, is a job-less spend thrift who is planning on getting married, go figure. His one employee is a day-dreamer, who shows up late for work and tries to sneak out early, has six children, and a stay-at-home wife. Is Scrooge responsible for Cratchit’s misguided life decisions?

Let’s face it, Ebenezer Scrooge is a victim. No one asked Scrooge what he wanted for Christmas. Charities abound year-round and the requests for donations are everywhere – from the supermarket line to utility bill, not to mention the incessant TV commercials for needy children, pets, and various diseases and afflictions.

Charles Dickens at work

Remember good-hearted, lovable, generous, old Fezziwig, the character who goes bankrupt because he couldn’t compete on price. Scrooge, on the other hand, was a financially secure, self-sufficient entrepreneur who was well respected in his business/social circles.  He was very successful in his money-lending and trading businesses. He was fair, honest, and shrewd – traits we hold in esteem.

I believe more and more people are becoming closet Scrooges. Secretly they admire his steadfastness against the ‘buy me’ commercialization of Christmas – which now starts right after Halloween. Actually Scrooge needs no defending. If anything he deserves admiration. He is an example to all of us that Christmas is not about those giving and others taking, but about being forthright, honest, and steadfast all of the time. Sure, the holidays should be a happy time spent with family, friends, and neighbors but keep in mind that the majority of the world’s populace doesn’t celebrate Christmas. In the end, Dickens has Scrooge succumbing to social pressures and loosing the fight against the onslaught of ‘commercial’ Christmas.

I liked the ‘old’ Scrooge and the ‘reborn’ Scrooge – why not, it is Christmas!

Christmas Jokes:

 – What are the four stages of Christmas life:

  1. You Believe in Santa
  2.  You Don’t Believe in Santa
  3.  You Are Santa
  4. You Look Like Santa

–  A wife asked her car-crazy, motor-head husband what he wanted for Christmas.

“Something that goes from 0-to-220 in three seconds flat” he said.

On Christmas day he unwrapped a bathroom scale.

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By Jim Lavorato

Jim Lavorato is the founder of 4M Performance which is designed to assist businesses to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. Jim launched an entertainment-related company in 1988. He was at the forefront in cinema technology and helped spearhead the movie industry's transition to digital presentation and distribution. He also co-founded the Arboreal Group, an environmental consultancy. He has published articles on the motion picture and media industries and is a contributing editor for ScreenTrade magazine and writes a blog "Cinema Mucho Gusto". He is a certified SCORE Mentor in the SCORE Greater Phoenix Chapter and lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Learn more about Jim in his "About" page.

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