As the story ends, it is said that Scrooge “became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world,” and that “it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well.”
You would think that parents would want to name their little boys after Ebenezer, the man who turned his entire life around and saved the life of little Tiny Tim and became like a second father to him.
Instead, we tend to remember Scrooge as a nasty old skinflint whose avarice was so keen that he wouldn’t even spare a lump of coal to keep poor Bob Cratchit warm at his desk. We remember a miser so cruel that he refused to make a donation to the poor; who saw prisons and workhouses and even death as suitable remedies to poverty.
But the good man he became? That’s not always the impression we remember. It’s a bit like that in life, though, isn’t it? Nasty gossip about a person spreads so much faster than tales of good deeds. Bad stories headline the news broadcasts, while tales of happiness and heroism are pushed back towards the end after the weather.
At this time of year, when good deeds and acts of kindness are all around us, it is our duty to cheer them on and highlight them instead of dwelling on, and shining light on, the bad. And so, I bring you the good deed performed by the students of Class 4-402 from PS 7, just across the Brooklyn-Queens border in Cypress Hills.
Their teachers, Bridget Sowulski and Christina Martin, reached out to the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society because their students were looking for people to make cheery Christmas cards for. As we were a few days away from our annual holiday party, the timing was perfect and we said that we’d love that.
So the students got right to work drawing Christmas trees and lights and candy canes and snowmen and snowflakes and hearts.
On each card they wrote nice and heartfelt messages like “I hope you have a Happy Holidays” and “You’re great! Sending holiday cheer your way!” And my favorite: “May Christmas be a best day no matter how bad it is!”
They were delivered to us in a big manila envelope decorated with Santa and his reindeer, a smiling gingerbread man and a homemade stamp. Such intelligent, remarkable children!
And truly no Christmas card was ever better received, for as we delivered them to our members they read them aloud and were touched by the kindness and the thoughtfulness that went into each and every card.
And if that weren’t enough, they also made decorative candy canes that couldn’t be beat. You couldn’t walk into any Christmas store in the world and buy a better looking decoration because these were made with the love and innocence of good children.
And so, for this act of kindness we thank Ariana and Breonna and Angi and Leidy and Dynasty and Brian and Reychel and Devin and Melany and all of the rest of the students of Class 4-402. May it be forever said that you that you know how to keep Christmas well.
To all our friends and neighbors here in Woodhaven, I wish you a merrier Christmas than you have had for many a year. And as for the upcoming new year, may God bless us, every one!