There are two characters that I love the most from Christmas-themed stories. The first comes from a book, although I’ve only seen the play, and the second comes from a movie.
1. Scrooge: I think love this character because I relate to him in so many ways. First, I am very grouchy toward people who begin to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving is finished. Second, I am not a very patient person and the holidays always test that patience. There are long lines. There are more people in the stores. The lights I’m trying to string up do not turn on when plugged in. The gutter hooks are on backwards which means the light string does not line the house in the manner I was attempting. The Christmas Tree branches are bending in weird directions and look a little more like “Nightmare Before Christmas” rather than “Miracle on 32nd Street.” All of this requires patience that I just don’t have. And yet I participate like everyone else because I do enjoy the season.
I also like scrooge because he is the representation of a changed man. He starts the story so horrible as a human being. Then he begins his moments of reflections. I would venture to say this story is the first paranormal literature…the man talks to ghosts. Anyway, he soon finds the error of his ways and changes. That is the story on a simplistic level. But I also equate it to Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” We see Scrooge in his “original” world. He crosses through his passages into the “new worlds” and must battle through the gatekeepers (the 3 ghosts) to progress through his journey. In the end his character “dies” and is reborn back into the original world a new person. I love the hero’s journey in any of its forms, so there is no surprise why I love this story as well.
2. Buddy the Elf: I know, I know I go from classic to goofy. But that’s how I roll. There are a few reasons why I love this character. The first is because he is the symbol of child innocence wrapped in a man’s body. While this is funny, it is also nice. One of the “rites of passage,” so to speak, into adulthood is a loss of innocence. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was not true? However, I also like this character because he embodies the Christmas spirit. He lives to make people happy, make them laugh, and sing merrily. He isn’t plagued by self-doubt or social taboo. He isn’t concerned with getting the best/most expensive gift. He is content and happy with himself. If only we all can be like that.
So, there you have it, my list of the top two favorite holiday characters. What are yours?