Monday, December 24, 2012

enough love

I treated myself to a new DVD copy of my favorite Christmas movie, the 1951 British production of "A Christmas Carol," starring Alastair Sim.  This one is very faithful to Dickens' story, and the cast is full of GREAT character actors of the era.  It's heartfelt without being maudlin.

To me, the theme of this movie IS Love -- the "Christmas" aspect is almost incidental.  You see the Cratchit family in their respectable poverty, mutually supporting each other in an atmosphere in which Love keeps the threadbare aspect of their lives from dominating.  Ditto for Scrooge's nephew, though he obviously has a better job than Bob does.  (Compare this to my favorite Dickens novel "Our Mutual Friend," in which poor Rumty Wilfer's living room -- cold with selfishness -- is a very uncomfortable place indeed.)

Bearing in mind this IS fiction, you can still connect that when children are raised with the knowledge that they are warmly loved and that their real best interests are considered important*, they learn by example HOW TO LOVE, themselves.  Conversely, the hero of the tale grew up convinced that he was NOT loved, which put him emotionally on his own -- no good formative example for HIM!  Of course he didn't prioritize love in his life (or anything else besides money) -- he had no idea that it had any value.

We see all the time that some people just don't know HOW to love.  Why???  Could it be comparable to a person who has never seen a meal cooked from scratch not knowing how to cook?  Is it like a person who has never seen printed materials before not knowing how to read?  I sure think so.

For a household, or any other group of people, to enjoy the kind of harmony that makes light of privation, truly caring about the comfort and troubles of each other is a seed which will bear the kind of fruit everyone rejoices to see.
*  I didn't say "happiness" mind you -- trying to "make children happy" frequently backfires.


  1. Nice post T! I dont celebrate xmas, but this neighbor of mine is supporting two kids on her own , and I took her to the store and bought whatever she wanted to make for dinner. Real bone in ham, spuds, pie, and bacon wrapped around asparagus and baked to crispy perfection. Of course she brought me some ham and bacon/ asparagus..... it felt so good to help someone out. When kids are involved especially. I suppose thats what you earthlings like to call "the christmas spirit?" Nice.

  2. bravissima, X -- that's EXACTLY "christmas spirit." :-)

    i "celebrate christmas" because it's important to my family. my take on religion is absolutely unconventional, being a "bu-pisco-pagan." ;-) christmas is another one of the light festivals, like diwali and channukah and the other old holy days which acknowledge the sun strengthening, likening the physical light to ENlightenMENT....