Thus, December 19, 2021:
The twenty-third anniversary of the date on which the Articles of Impeachment against President Bill Clinton were approved by the US House of Representatives.
Sorry. What I meant to say is: The one-hundred-seventy-eighth anniversary of the date on which Charles Dickens’s novel, A Christmas Carol, in Prose: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, was first published.
Truth be told, I’ve always found Tiny Tim a bit annoying. Perhaps it’s the saccharine nature of his diktat. Or perhaps it has something to do with the rather demented persona of his namesake (born Herbert Butros Khaury), one which I always found faintly disturbing, but which I suppose most in this day and age would find reassuringly normal. Relatively speaking.
In any event, my favorite quote from A Christmas Carol is this:
It was a great surprise to Scrooge, while listening to the moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss, whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge, while thus engaged, to hear a hearty laugh. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with the Spirit standing smiling by his side, and looking at that same nephew with approving affability!
Somehow, in what seems like the interminable age of pandemic and fear, this seems like the right message to me.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be–William Hazlitt
And, by extension:
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone–Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Merry Christmas to all. And, “God bless us, every one.”
One of the prettiest versions of this song, describing a lesson that Ebenezer Scrooge didn’t learn quite quickly enough: