Both Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge seem to be ever more characteristic of our times. Santa is bubbly, he prizes the conformists, and he is overtly commercial. Scrooge, on the other hand, is lonely, he celebrates himself, and he is utterly boring.
Think about gatherings. We seldom give each other our undivided attention because we constantly check our smartphone and our Facebook account, convinced that something far more interesting is probably happening elsewhere. We are alienated from each other, and from ourselves.
I imagine that if the two fictitious characters were to come together, however, they would see each other in the other rather than raging at each other’s differences, and they would invite us to do the same with respect to them and to each other.
This because we seem to have lost the ability to really pay attention to wherever we are, to whoever we are with, to whatever we choose. Perhaps our lack of attention has to do with our failure to stop to think, and we do not really think maybe because we have lost our ability to see the bigger picture; maybe because we have lost our ability to dream.
We talk of what we do and what we want, not of what we aspire to. We attempt to lead a life of wavering certainties and quick technological fixes, a life which may be poorer and shallower than one of doubts and contradictions. Striving to live up to our dreams despite our imminent failures is intrinsically human, and inherently Christian.
We are more than what we have and and what we could ever have – and that’s why a meeting between Santa and Scrooge can be a fascinating eye-opener. There is more to who we are, and that is, perhaps, what Christmas is all about. God became a human being so that human beings could learn to live humanly.