Bob Cratchit comes out as the true hero of Dicken's novel A Christmas Carol -- a worker, a family man, a believer in the goodness of people. London, Ontario just witnessed a similar example yesterday, as Kellogg's employees, despite the devastating news of the impending shutdown, raised $10,000 and purchased quality foodstuffs for the local food bank. If we are ever to find a reason for believing in Christmas, this is it.
Despite the plethora of Canadian-made Christmas movies sprinkling the Yuletide floor like pine needles, the "Great Canadian Christmas" movie still seems to be that one item Santa never gets around to delivering. And I mean that on two fronts -- both a great "Christmas" movie, and a Christmas movie that is unapologetically "Canadian."
The holidays are a time for many kinds of traditions. Whether it's the lighting of the menorah or the trimming of the tree or reuniting with friends too long unseen. And, of course, this is a time of year for watching movies and singing songs. And while we spend a lot of the rest of the year chasing the next "new thing," around the holidays, most of us revisit our old favourites... watching movies that take us back to our childhood.
As the number of those trapped in poverty swell there will be a growing yearning in society to show that poverty is systemic and not personal and one of their main allies will be Charles Dickens. People who refuse to lift themselves from their circumstances are one thing; those trapped in confining events despite all their best efforts are something else entirely and they make up the critical mass of those increasingly on the margins of society.