ghost of christmas presentOne of my favorite Christmas traditions is reading Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (or at least watching one of the movies based on the book). Every time I experience the story, I take away something different. Some years I focus on the themes of redemption and second chances. Other years, I read as a writer and concentrate on Dickens’ mastery of characterization. This year, I was struck by how much social and political commentary Charles Dickens included in the text. In our current climate of political correctness and fear of alienating readers, it is valuable to note how critical Dickens (and many of his contemporaries) was of the society he lived in. He didn’t hold back in his condemnation of the rampant poverty in England and the prosperous Scrooge’s attitude toward the poor. As I am reviewing my achievements over the last year and contemplating  what I want to accomplish next year, I am thinking about how I can use my literary voice to speak out on some of the issues that are near and dear to my heart.

For now, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope you are all warm and safe at this holiday time. Enjoy the eggnog and Christmas turkey. I know I will.