The «Nursery rhyme of the old man who hated Christmas“By Mimmo Mòllica draws inspiration from”Christmas carol», One of the most popular and moving works of Charles Dickens (1812-1870). In this short novel Dickens renews his critique of opulent society through the surreal encounter between the old miser (Ebenezer Scrooge) and three “Sprites”, right on Christmas Eve. I am the Spirit of Christmas past, present and future.
In Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” the old miser is an elderly London banker (1843), as rich as he is miserly and selfish, to the point of living apart from his neighbor without spending anything even for himself, preferring to live like a poor man with no property.
For the old miser Christmas is an occasion for leisure and waste of time, one more day to earn money by working. Even on Christmas Eve the old banker forces his humble employee, who pays him with a starvation wage, to work more than other days, barely allowing him not to work on Christmas Day.
But on Christmas Eve, returning home, where usually there is no one waiting for him, something disturbs him deeply. Upon entering the house, he begins to perceive strange phenomena and gruesome noises. Suddenly a door opens and the ghost of an old partner appears, urging him to change his life if he does not want to suffer the same fate: eternal damnation, after having lived accumulating money only for himself, closed in his own selfishness, far away from people.
And behold, on Christmas Eve, one after the other, the Spirit of the Past Christmas, of the present Christmas and of the Future Christmas appear to him., which with the appearance of ghosts wake him up taking him back in time, making him relive his forgotten childhood. The old miser, as an adult will become a rich financier and will even give up getting married to ‘enjoy’ his money.
After a torturous night spent with the Spirits, the old banker understands the mistakes he has made and decides to change his life. Unshaven and clean goes on the street greeting everyone with affability and wishing a Merry Christmas. Then he goes to his nephew’s house, who had invited him to the Christmas dinner, where he is warmly welcomed and has the best Christmas of his life.
The next morning he increases his salary generously to his employee and will take care of the sick child. With the necessary treatments and medicines, the child will recover and the old banker will finally find peace of mind, becoming a person much loved by all.
An old banker hated Christmas,
he was very rich, but stingy and antisocial,
he had a lot of money and despite,
never a coin, not even to a beggar.
Always on the sidelines, he didn’t like parties,
really escaped her like a plague,
celebrating for him was amoral,
even on the day of Holy Christmas.
“Christmas is a waste of money”
he was so stingy, so stingy was he,
there was never anyone in his house,
but this time there is someone instead:
it looks like a Ghost from the dark come,
perhaps an unknown Sprite ?!
What happens therefore is a strange thing,
it’s magic, a very curious stuff.
It’s almost Christmas already and all of a sudden
someone is at his house without warning.
The miserly rich man during the eve of the night receives 3 visits: they are the Spirits of the Past, the Present and the Future who speak to him to make him reflect and change his life. The first Spirit of the night is that of the Past:
Just that Christmas Eve
it is the Spirit of the Past that assails him,
suddenly the ghost appears,
as if it were Aladdin’s lamp,
he says to him: «Change your life or otherwise
you will live with disappointments and regrets,
you will be alone and only an old miser,
oppressed by a thirst for money ».
It makes him relive his whole existence,
makes him do an examination of conscience.
The old miser stays to listen
without opening his mouth, without protesting,
the story of his squalid life,
as a spectator at the match.
He hears every word and is troubled,
in fact, he reviews his entire past
and his youth. He is very shaken,
remembers the old days and is moved,
when he sang merrily at a party,
without strange thoughts on my mind.
But here then come back in a moment
at present times and its behavior:
has no respect for his employee,
think only of the money earned,
is a rich man, so rich now,
but he never had a family.
In his head now it’s a big mess,
for remorse he sends the ghost away,
chases him away with angry ways,
but the surprises are not over,
even if it’s late at night and you can’t see it,
hear now what happens!
After chasing away the Spirit of the Past, the old miser thinks he can finally have a quiet night. But it will not be like this: the Spirit of the Present, in fact, a little later, in the middle of the night, attacks him. Listen:
The Spirit of the Present woke him up
from his troubled and agitated sleep,
he tells him: “So many people, with love,
prepares for Christmas with a good heart ».
Meanwhile at the home of friends and relatives
they are all together and happy,
Christmas lunch is almost ready,
there is also his usual employee,
with the child next to him, small and sick,
with grandparents and little cousins all to one side.
The miser is troubled and moved by what the spirit of the Present has shown him. But it’s not over yet. The night, in fact, reserves another surprise for him: the Spirit of the Future appears to him and what happens is unbelievable. Listen:
Then the Ghost of the Future appears to him,
what he says to him now is very hard:
speaks to him of the death of a rich man,
stingy and stingy with all people,
nobody wants to go to the funeral,
he won’t have a flower for Christmas either.
The servants have sold his things
we don’t even know who got them.
No one in the cemetery goes to see him,
none of the friends think so.
Man trembles and pales at the thought,
what does the Spirit mean, understands,
regrets his empty existence
which deserves no reward.
Think again about the poor child,
maybe not even a present at Christmas,
that little one was not taken care of
and only because he is poor and sick,
for lack of treatment and medicine,
for lack of food and vitamins.
The miser is horrified at that thought
think of the good never done, of the haughty heart,
thinks his actions are wrong,
that in this world it is better to be good.
He understands that he was wrong and repents,
that what he owns is nothing,
that wealth is not infinite joy,
that there is still time to change your life.
And right on Christmas night
something is strange that assails him,
start giving gifts to everyone,
to children, acquaintances and passers-by,
he feels a sincere need in his heart
to smile at others and at the whole world,
feels that the dark times have passed,
finally it’s Christmas for him too.
Send buy the biggest turkey,
the medicines for that beautiful baby,
then get dressed up and cleaned up
finally wears a nice dress,
goes out into the street to greet people,
hugs people warmly.
He goes to relatives’ homes with honor
and is welcomed with so much warmth,
feels his life flourished,
spend the best Christmas of your life.
Laughing with joy he embraces everyone,
the bad memories disappeared there,
it is his life found again
and bursts into a splendid laugh.
Early the next morning
wait for the man who works for him,
he says to him: “Listen to what I tell you,
from today you will be a friend to me,
you are no longer just my employee,
but an old friend lost and found ».
So saying the old billionaire
also increases the salary to the employee
and from that day with great amazement
takes care of his family,
the sick child then takes care,
and the boy immediately heals.
This story is the “Christmas Carol”,
always modern, always very current,
certainly it is a sometimes sad rhyme,
but what matters are the achievements.
Each story has its own moral,
the victory of good over evil,
so that it is always a special party,
magical night, Christmas night.
Mimmo Mòllica ©