Missio Dei Community

Reflecting on A Christmas Carol: The Musical

Stories, Transformation, and Compassion


Below we’ve compiled some questions that can be used for your own time of reflection or as a discussion guide with your partner, spouse, or family. If using this for a family night, take a few minutes to look through the questions and use all of them or just the ones that resonate. Feel free to add scriptures, thoughts, or other resources from your own faith tradition. You can open and/or close by praying together or singing a Christmas carol together if that feels appropriate for your home. We hope this will be a resource for you to take the lessons and ideas of the musical and the brilliant novella by Charles Dickens home with you this Christmas season. Grace and peace.

GETTING STARTED

If you have young children, A Christmas Carol coloring page is a great option to give them something to do and stay engaged for the conversation. Click here or here for a page, or more can be found here.

  • What was your favorite part about the musical, A Christmas Carol? Who was your favorite character and why?

STORY

  • Stories have a lot of power to teach and shape us. Charles Dickens uses this story of Ebenezer Scrooge to help us focus on 2 major themes.
  1. The personal transformation of Scrooge from apathy and greed to compassion and generosity
  2. To share the plight of the poor in Victorian England and the way they were mistreated by those with more opportunities.

Which did you notice the most as you watched the musical? What about the story or the production helped that theme to really come to life for you?

  • What are some of the stories that have helped define me, or us as a couple or family?

TRANSFORMATION

  • Scrooge’s only friend, the deceased Jacob Marley, comes to him as a ghost to tell him that  he must change his ways or end up like him. But that’s not enough to change him, so he will be visited by 3 ghosts. Which one do you think caused Scrooge to change the most? Why?

 

  • Christmas Past represents memory and contemplation. The Christian tradition, as well as most other spiritual traditions, encourages taking time to reflect and to think about our past. How do you think this can help us to change?

**Here are some resources to use for prayer, contemplation, and meditation
Pray As You Go – short scripture reflections
Insight Timer – app with guided meditations
Contemplative Kids – Article about Christian contemplation for kiddos
Headspace – mindfulness/guided meditation for kids and adults

  • Christmas Present reminds us of the generosity, good will, and celebration that comes with the Christmas season. What was it about seeing the Cratchit family celebrate, especially Tiny Tim, that moved Scrooge to be more compassionate? How about watching his nephew Fred’s family?

 

  • Christmas Yet To Be shows Scrooge the legacy that he is leaving behind. How can contemplating the future and how we want to be remembered help us to use our time more wisely, as it did for Scrooge.

 

  • The sacred text of the Christian tradition is the Bible. It is a grand narrative we are invited to find our place in and it is made up of stories for us to learn from. The gospel writer Luke tells the story of a wealthy tax collector. Tax collectors were notorious for being dishonest and greedy. After encountering Jesus, he sees the error of his ways and gives half his money to the poor, going so far as to pay back quadruple the people he had cheated. Click here to read the story of Zacchaeus.What parallels do you see between the story of Zacchaeus and the story of Ebenezer Scrooge?

COMPASSION

  • Scrooge is most famous for his catch phrase, “Bah, humbug.” Humbug refers to an imposter or a fraud, something done for spectacle or to be noticed. Why do you think this might be Scrooge’s response to Christmas and the way he saw the wealthy give to charity during the holiday season?

 

  • In the beginning of the show Scrooge sings,

“If the poor have to eat let them beg upon the street or apply at the workhouse door.”

During the song “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” he says,

“I’ll spend my fortune on the one’s who need me, go where kindness and my conscience lead me, give my heart and soul to all, God speed me.”

His transformation led him to a genuinely generous spirit, not only at Christmas time. What are some ways that we can extend the spirit of Christmas to our family, friends, and community from January to November?

  • Christmas does provide a unique opportunity to practice compassion. How can I/we as an individual, couple, or family, serve the people around us in the places we are uniquely placed? (Resources and ideas below)

 

  • Click here to listen together to this Christmas song by Jackson Browne. Share your thoughts on the song and how it relates to this conversation afterward.

 

Compassion Resources/Ideas

Below are some resources/ideas for places to donate or ways to cultivate generosity this holiday season:

The Warming Center – A Santa Cruz county program that opens the doors of churches and other facilities for the under-resourced on the coldest winter nights. This will be the first year for the program in Watsonville and a great opportunity to give financially to help with the start of it and/or to volunteer.

180/2020 – A Santa Cruz initiative to move toward ending homelessness by providing permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable individuals sleeping on the streets. Another great organization to donate or volunteer with.

Kindness ElvesFor parents… Similar to Elf on the Shelf, except these elves encourage your children each day to do something kind for someone else. A great way to cultivate kindness during the holiday season.

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