I appeal to the reader to take it easy on poor Mr. Scrooge during this Christmas season. Dickens’ fictional character provides for a great deal of entertainment, and our memories seem stuck in his preconversion manifestation, forgetting the lessons he learned from his nightmare ghosts. It was those lessons that have made Christmas what it is today. Puritans, and other Protestants shunned the pagan holiday. Even during the 19th century, Boston banned Christmas for three decades.
It was the generosity toward poor children of Bishop Nicolas of Myrna, now Turkey, in the Third Century A.D. that later inspired pre-figures of Santa Claus. But, really, Dickens’ Christmas Carol story has intertwined Christmas season’s many traditions, commercial and traditional, loosening the purse strings and celebrating a season of gift giving. And Ebenezer Scrooge played no small part in that transformation.