Why has this ghost story continued to delight the generations that have arisen since its publication almost a hundred and seventy years ago? Since then it has never been out of print, has undergone various stage/ film adaptations and continues in popularity. I wonder also what it is about the Christmas period that causes us, almost naturally it seems, to reflect on our lives? Perhaps it is simply that it comes at the end of another year and those of us over a certain age can't help gazing up at the clock; perhaps with a doleful look back at all those brave plans we held in our youth; or causes us to think of that relationship that soured and friendships that sadly waned through our lack of careful upkeep over the years. It is the season above all others that seems to highlight the best and worst in all of us. At its worst Christmas has become a commercialised nightmare of over-consumption, indulgence and excess; yet nobody can deny that there are many acts of kindness too at Christmas; a time when we can't help but focus (if only for a moment) on those less fortunate than ourselves, a time when we are more likely to be reconciled to those we harbour grudges towards, or feel may have hurt us in the past.
I think we need Christmas - it makes us aspirational in a good way - to reach out and try and be better people than we often are.
So, as another Christmas season comes to a close and we stand on the threshold of another year, I wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2012.