To whom it may concern:

My name is Ebenezer Scrooge and I am writing to complain about the so-called “War on Christmas” that has been raging for longer than I can remember. For goodness sakes, the conflict in Afghanistan ran for 20 years and people were clamoring for its end, but we have been fighting Christmas for more than a century and I say it is time we won it. What the Dickens is taking so long?

My great-great-great uncle, my namesake, was a costly victim of this terrible conflict. He was a hardworking businessman who sought nothing more than to provide a good job for his employees, for which he was unjustly disrespected. Is it wrong for an employer to expect a hard day’s work for an honest wage?

You may have heard tell of his plight as it seems to delight the great unwashed masses to spread misinformation about him at this time of year. I would like to address some of the fake news surrounding my poor ancestor.

With all this folderol about pandemics and disease (which was so common in my uncle’s day as to be almost unworthy of comment), we are becoming a nation of over-populated wastrels. People cry out for public health options. In my uncle’s day they had a perfectly reasonable solution. Those who could not afford health care simply died. As they were overwhelmingly poor, it eliminated both the sick and the needy. Two problems solved each other. If we leave things in the hands of God, they will take care of themselves.

I hear much talk these days of “Chinese flu” that is rampant on the face of the Earth. I must admit to some concern over this, for my uncle was afflicted greatly from an ailment that I believe was a communist plot, for he went to sleep one night a levelheaded entrepreneur and awoke the next morning a raving socialist, running about giving free stuff to spongers and wastrels. Was it a coincidence that a certain German, a Mr. Karl Marx, was making his way to London at that time? I think not.

While I am on the subject, what are we teaching our children? It is bad enough that so-called children’s advocates long ago banned children from honest labors such as chimney sweeps and sweat shop work — thereby stripping them of the opportunity to support themselves and their families — but at Christmas time we have trained them to expect, expect I say, to be showered with all manner of free stuff, which most have not earned even by being “good” (which, unless I am mistaken, is the criteria laid down by fat St, Nick).

In my esteemed uncle’s day, a lump of coal would have been a worthy gift, as it would have kept whateverfilthyhoveltheseurchins lived heated as well. I am pleased to read that my colleagues in Texas have taken steps to assure that most of their citizens are not coddled by the assurance of power during the harshest winter weather (except for a few on the edges who are obviously coddled). Maybe it takes power outages for these children, who are deprived of their senseless gaming and Tik-Tokery, to learn the true value of a lump of coal.

There are those who would argue that I am misanthropic and have no regard for my fellow man, to which I say, “Tosh!” There is no one more than I who wishes the best for mankind — and women as well, I suppose, for they also have a use. Any man who is willing to work long hours to provide for his family is a friend of mine.

But is it not also true that a great many people do only as little as they can and expect all manner of extra provisions, which they see as rights rather than generosities? Why, I see my friend Jeff Bezos has large facilities where people can work long hours (thereby increasing their earnings) and how is he repaid? With calls for unionization on the grounds the workers are not happy. Happy? Of course, they are not happy. The world of work is not for amusement or self-satisfaction. It is a burden we place upon ourselves to earn our place in the kingdom of Heaven. It is our right to work, not to have workers’ rights. What drivel.

Speaking of so-called rights, one of my employees, Robert Cratchit, recently contacted my HR department during some ridiculous “bring your son to work” day to ask if we could provide a ramp for his son, Tim, who requires the use of crutches and cannot climb the steps. Apparently, there is something called the Americans with Disabilities Act that requires I make “reasonable accommodations.” What is reasonable about forcing respectable businessmen to waste their hard-earned money on ramps?

I would normally keep my opinions to myself, no matter that they are well thought out and reasonable, but this dreadful season brings up my old resentments. People are poor, yet they insist on spending thousands on presents for children, some as old as teenagers, who have never worked a day in their lives, all in the name of Christmas.

As far as I recall, the three wise men did not bring a Nintendo Switch to the manger so the Messiah could waste his days playing “Grand Theft Auto” or “Mario Kart.” Imagine how that would have turned out.

We have lost our way and our minds have been clouded by expectations of jollity and merriment and good will. There is a war on Christmas. And we must work to win it.

Yours, in peace

E. Scrooge, esq.

This column ran in the Dec. 17 Art of Living section of The Beaumont Enterprise.

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