Christmas began officially in our house on Sunday afternoon. We had been expecting friends over but the snow put paid to that, so instead we settled down en famille to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol.
This film (along with It’s A Wonderful Life, which I like to watch on Christmas Eve) sums up Christmas to me.
To my mind, it’s the best ever re-telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and that’s because it draws out Dickens’ message in a way that’s easy for absolutely everyone to understand. It doesn’t shy away from the dark parts and it brings the Muppets’ trademarked glorious silliness to bear wherever possible.
It makes me cry every time I watch it, and laugh and sing and want to hug everything within sight – and this year, for me, there was an added dimension to it.
Listen very carefully to the words of this song (and enjoy the dancing ponies…)
The Ghost of Christmas Present is a being that spends his life entirely in the Now – and so he’s happy. When we focus on the Now we get rid of so much “stuff” – we’re not regretting the past or worrying about the future so we can focus on what’s going on for us right this second. Generally speaking, focussing on the Now makes life so much more pleasurable and enjoyable, and that’s this spirit’s message to Scrooge.
Scrooge has become mean and grasping, “cold and solitary as an oyster” because he has allowed the disappointments of his past to infect his present. He has neither forgotten nor forgiven and has, instead, allowed his real self to become trapped under layer upon layer of a cold, hard shell. This shell began as a protection against disappointment and hurt and has now become a suit of armour that repels everyone that comes into contact with him.
What the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge is how life is for people who have love at their hearts – and how important it is to remember that all year, not just at Christmas.
It’s so much easier at this time of year, isn’t it? Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by messages of love and hope, you’re encouraged to think of others and to be generous and loving.
It’s true that, in our mostly secular society, the true messages are getting drowned out by commercialism and this year I’ve noticed more and more comments about how stressful it all is and how many people don’t enjoy Christmas because it’s become such a chore.
But Christmas isn’t just about shopping and cooking and credit card bills and putting up with relatives you can’t stand.
Or at least, it doesn’t have to be, whether you’re a Christian or not.
It’s about getting back in touch with that spark of love at your very core and remembering that, inside absolutely everyone else, that same spark of love exists.
It’s about connecting with love and joy to those around you, whoever they are.
It’s about being in the Now and focussing on the blessings around you, letting go of past enmities and hurts and disappointments.
It’s about “the Summer of the Soul in December” and “the message, if we hear it, is make it last all year”.
And that’s what I aim to do for everyone I reach – help you to feel the Summer in your Soul all year long, so that you come to know and cherish the Real You, the spark of love at the very core of your being, all year long. To help you to recognise your suit of armour for the prison that it really is, and to help you to findways to free yourself from it so that you can start to show the world the Real You, and start to fulfil your purpose.
This is the last time I’ll blog for a while so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support yo’ve shown me over this first year of Colour In Your Thinking and to wish you and yours every blessing of the season now and every day.
Merry Christmas and, in the words of Tiny Tim (who did NOT die) God Bless Us, Every One.