A couple of weeks ago I was accused of being a Scrooge by my sister because of something that I was refusing to do around Christmas. I don't remember exactly what it was that caused me to be the subject of my sister's ire, but that is hardly the point. She's always finding fault with the things I do.
But why does Scrooge get such a bad rap?
Everyone is familiar with "A Christmas Carol," Dickens' classic Christmas ghost story that tells of the redemption of Ebeneezer Scrooge from a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" to a man who learns to care for his fellow man and embrace the spirit of the Christmas season.
Sure Scrooge started out the standard by which all Christmas haters could be measured. Bah humbug and all. But by the end of his evening with the three spirits of Christmas, he is a fully changed man. Scrooge has become a lover of the holiday who has learned to keep the spirit in his heart through out the year. In Dickens' own words, "it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well."
That is the story of Scrooge. How a man can come to understand what is really important in life.
So really, if you think about it, a "Scrooge" would be someone who honors and keeps the spirit of Christmas in their heart and shares that joy with everyone. We shouldn't dwell on the type of man Scrooge used to be. Better that we remember for the type of man he was able to transform himself into.
I guess my sister was really providing me with a compliment.