By Barbara Hagen • December 24, 2022
One of my most favorite blogs to write is this one, my Christmas message to our ThriftBooks community. This year, I contemplated several themes for several weeks, trying to find the one I most wanted to share. I did most of this thinking while watching A Christmas Carol at a local theatre here in Seattle. My 13-year-old son is an actor and, like many actors this time of year, he is performing in a classic rendition of this holiday favorite. So, as I have watched over 25 performances of A Christmas Carol over the last four weeks (yes, I could step in as an understudy for any role should the need arise), I have given quite a bit of thinking towards what sentiment I seek to share with all of you today.
After each performance, my thoughts always come back to the Mr. Fezziwig character. If you recall, Mr. Fezziwig is Scrooge's joyful former boss from when Scrooge was a young man. Mr. Fezziwig is, essentially, the antithesis of Scrooge, acting as Scrooge's foil in the play. My thoughts always seemed to linger with this scene, and not only because of the great pleasure I have watching my son and his fellow actors emit joy and bliss on stage during the Fezziwig party scene. My thoughts also linger because I am struck by the words exchanged between Spirit 1 and current-day Scrooge after they have re-lived that Christmas Eve scene where Fezziwig hosts a party for his family and employees, a younger, middle-aged Scrooge having been among them:
SPIRIT 1: 'Tis a small matter to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.
OLD SCROOGE: Small?!!!
SPIRIT 1: Why is it not? Fezziwig spent but a few pounds of your mortal money, three of four, perhaps. Not much money.
OLD SCROOGE: It isn't that, Spirit. Mr. Fezziwig has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks, in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: What then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.
My favorite line: "The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."
It is quite easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and materialist side of the holiday season, spending time in malls or department stores and even shopping online. We perfectly wrap presents and eagerly anticipate gifts which may have our name on them. Then Christmas morning, we swiftly unwrap them all, with squeals of joy sounding out as we clutch our new possessions.
To be clear, I am fully aware these are all important parts of Christmas. As the mother of three, I certainly am not saying we walk away from these treasured moments. Rather, I hope we can remember that happiness doesn't have to be costly. Happiness doesn't have to be wrapped up. Happiness can be shared "in words and looks, things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up." This is something we have the power to gift every day to people who cross our paths in life, be they family, friends, or even strangers we encounter as we go about our everyday lives.
Fast forward to the end of A Christmas Carol…Scrooge awakens from his night with the spirits, realizing that he has a chance to do better, to live better. And, importantly, he discovers it is still Christmas Day, that he hasn't missed it at all. Scrooge is awash with that Christmas morning feeling!
And it was said of Scrooge that he knew how to keep Christmas well.
May today and every day be filled with that Christmas Morning Feeling, and may you carry and convey a Fezziwig-like attitude in all that you do.
From all of us at ThriftBooks to all of you in our community, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.
VP, Sales and Marketing, ThriftBooks
For more cheer, see our previous Christmas Messages:
About the Author: Barbara Hagen is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales here at ThriftBooks. She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior marketing executive, with an undergraduate degree in marketing from Syracuse University, an MBA in international marketing from NYU's Stern School of Business, and an MS in data analytics, also from NYU's Stern School.