OFF AIR – Jo-Ann Roberts

There’s a lot more to old Scrooge than Bah Humbug.

There’s no shortage of self-help articles at this time of year, all promising to help you survive the holidays. But, for me there’s no need to look any further than the star of those old Canadian Tire ads, Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s a lot more to old Scrooge than Bah Humbug.

I’ve always loved the Alastair Sim movie version of A Christmas Carol, but I didn’t really come to appreciate the true wisdom in the words of Charles Dickens until I started reading the story out loud. For the past decade, I’ve been part of a wonderful CBC tradition that holds readings of A Christmas Carol to raise money for local charities.

Let me share some of what I’ve learned from the Dickens cast of Scrooge, Marley and all those ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

I think of this when I think I’m too busy to take time for others: “Business!” cried Marley’s ghost, “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.”

When I’m getting uptight or stressed and ready to snap at a cashier, co-worker or a family member, this is my guide. It also works at family gatherings when an argument is about to break out: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

When I’m trying to decide whether I should do something, especially if it involves some effort on my part, I weigh it against this bit of advice: “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

Finally, when I’m taking myself too seriously: “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

Smart guy that Dickens. But, these are my gems, feel free to check out the story for your own or even better try and take in a reading of the Christmas classic on Dec. 11, at the Alix Goolden Hall, a fundraiser for Our Place.

One final bit of advice, in the famous words of Tiny Tim: “God Bless us everyone.”

Jo-Ann Roberts is an award-winning, veteran journalist who is host of CBC Radio’s All Points West, 3-6 pm weekday afternoons, 90.5 fm. Married to Ken Kelly, they have four children.

 

Just Posted

UnoFest: Pushing boundaries and challenging audiences for 22 years

Annual solo theatre festival kicks off 11 days of inspiring artistry on May 1

Royal BC Museum set to launch its latest exhibition coup

Victoria institution’s new show on the Maya makes its North American debut May 17

VOS transforms the McPherson into a swamp for Shrek The Musical

Victoria Operatic Society’s musical theatre production appeals to all ages

Elegant waterfront gala to launch new Ballet Victoria season

Tickets still available for Spring Soiree on April 26: meet the dancers, bid on great auction items

Just looking, or buying? You can find that perfect art piece at Sidney show

Saanich Peninsula Arts and Crafts Society holding Spring Show April 27-28 at Mary Winspear Centre

Peninsula grandmothers salute Roaring ’20s fashion

May 3 event in Sidney benefits Grandmothers Helping African Grandmothers

Belmont secondary’s student-run bistro experiences opening-day rush

Culinary students serving up affordable lunches to fellow classmates

Sooke Community Choir offers up #modernlove

Sooke concerts run from May 3 to 5

Celebration of Light fireworks to feature two new countries

India and Croatia will compete for the first time, alongside Canada

Stephen Fearing brings unique style to concert series

Fearing will play Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Sooke on April 27

Sidney Classical Orchestra hosts former dean of Victoria Conservatory

Canadian pianist Jamie Syer to play pieces by Beethoven, Haydn at Saturday concert in Sidney

REVIEW: Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classic perform jolly good Queen show

Strengthened by UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the group performs tonight and Sunday at the Royal

Most Read