One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is to watch “A Christmas Carol.” But we don’t just watch any version of it.
Every single year we watch “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” It’s my favorite. We sing the songs together. We laugh at the same stuff year after year. And it really isn’t that bad a rendition of Dickens’ classic novel.
The theme of Magoo’s Christmas is summed up in a song. It is the one about “figgy pudding” if you remember it. But the chorus has all the animated characters singing in jubilation — “May your Christmas be more glorious than grand!” And perhaps that is the essence of how we miss Christmas and the Christmas spirit. “I hope you have a big Christmas,” we declare. What do we mean by that? Probably that we get a lot more stuff and food than we really need. But what’s a “glorious” Christmas? Isn’t it one that is filled with the awe of the One who came to save us? Isn’t it the spirit of giving that touches the ones too often left out? Isn’t it the kindness and peace that is simply not expressed at other times?
This Christmas Barbie has been getting into “A Christmas Carol” more than usual. In fact, she went back to the original. Sadly, Mr. Magoo wasn’t in it. But she told me that there was a quote in it that summarized well what I do and want to do in my business at CRF. She couldn’t exactly quote it to me though.
But last night, I was watching television and the George C. Scott version of the Scrooge story was playing. Barbie yelled at me from upstairs—“That’s it!” Let me set you up for it. One of the eerie scenes in this tale is when Jacob Marley’s ghost despairs to Scrooge about the opportunities that he didn’t use well in his life.
Scrooge replied with fear and guilt, “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.”
Then the ghost screamed out, “Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
Barbie was right. Jacob Marley nailed my business. Jacob Marley was telling Scrooge that he had missed Christmas. He had not only missed it in a holiday but also more importantly as a spiritual event.
But he had also neglected Christmas in the spirit of a business to help the helpless and to show the glory of the One who came to all mankind.
We can miss Christmas by simply neglecting the event. But we can also miss Christmas by missing a little child because you are overwhelmed with the “grand”.
Don’t miss your business. Don’t miss the glorious. Don’t miss Mr. Magoo either this year. – By Milton Jones, CRF President