Ebenezer Scrooge as illustrated by Ronald Searle in Life Magazine, 1960. | Flickr/Elizabeth. CC BY-NC 2.0.
New adaptations of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella appear on our screens each time the holidays come around. From this year’s brand-new mini-series that’s due to be aired in the UK and the USA to the ever-popular Muppet Christmas Carol, this story is a staple of the season. In it, and after a series of visits from ghostly apparitions, Ebenezer Scrooge changes from a cold miser to a kind and gentle person, but some aspects of the role of charity in this change of heart are lost from modern adaptations.
In the 176-year-old text the call to charity is more demanding than just donating cash. Dickens focuses on personal charity as the assumption of social obligations. After his transformation, Scrooge faces up to his moral responsibilities. Famously, he buys an enormous Christmas turkey for the family of his clerk, Bob Cratchit. But his new-found concern for the Cratchit family goes much further than a single festive meal. He also gives Cratchit a pay-rise. And having been frightened by a premonition of the death of Tiny Tim – Cratchit’s son – Scrooge is said to become like “a second father” to the sickly child. Continue reading →
On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced the worst earthquake in their history; a massive 7.0 magnitude with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne (Ouest Department), approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. Estimates of the total lives lost range from 230,000 people to 316,000, with an additional 300,000 injured and 1.5 million displaced as a result of the disaster. As of September, 2014, 85,432 displaced people remain in 123 sites.
Quite frankly, we’re tired of the commercialization of the holiday season. While Americans experience more materialism over their lifetimes than any other culture, this time of year means the madness to possess goes on overdrive.
What should you give someone that seems to have everything (other than penicillin…)? We’ve put together a list of suggestions that should interest almost everyone you are pondering over, with the thought that instead of presenting them with the customary trinket that they may or may not like, take that same amount of money you would have spent and make a donation in their name to something bigger than them. Continue reading →