From The Publisher

Beverly DenverSpirits of the Season

During the holidays, going to see the Alley Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite things to do. The actors are some of the most talented in the country; the staging and costumes are simply incredible. And, adding to its mystique, this classic tale is always a good reminder (to all of us) to honor the spirit of Christmas with love and generosity to others and to try to do so all year long. 

Dickens suffered many hardships during his childhood, and the suffering made him especially sensitive to the blight of the poor and saddened by the social injustices he witnessed. So, it is easy to understand how Dickens – the master storyteller - used his empathy for the less fortunate to inspire others to face their own Christmas spirits. 

The Ghost of Christmas Past helps me recall so many happy memories: Being an excited five-year-old and Santa bringing me a new bike — a bright red two-wheeler. Later, being a young mother who made sure her own children got the bicycles they wanted. Always being able to share the holidays with my family and friends. Never having to be alone or on a battlefield halfway around the world during this most special time of the year! Yes, the Ghost of Christmas Past reminds me of my blessings and makes me grateful. 

The Ghost of Christmas Present haunts me daily. She reminds me how well I used to do Christmas! It was some time ago — when I was a very young, full-time homemaker! Back then I had time to focus on Christmas and all the preparations that go with it! I was good at shopping and buying the perfect gift for everybody. I was good at wrapping presents beautifully and paying special attention to minor adorning details. I was good at decorating the tree, house and yard in ways Martha Stewart would approve and applaud. Really, I was! 

Back then, I wasn’t distracted by deadlines, power lunches or an inbox full of unopened, call-to-action emails! Back then, the fact that each day consisted of only 24 hours was fine. Who knew I would not forever be okay with that? 

The Ghost of Christmas Present reminds me that one person simply can’t do it all. She reminds me that a real superwoman is one who has learned how to prioritize and delegate. A real superwoman is someone who has come to understand why less is always more! 

Lately, the Ghost of Christmas Future has paid me some visits too. Instead of reminding me about how things used to be or how they are now, she keeps asking me questions: What are you doing to make the your world a better place? What random acts of kindness have you committed lately? What else can you give? 

Before I can utter a word, the Ghost of Christmas Future puts a hand to my lips and whispers softly, “Don’t tell me, just show others!”

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