This is not Ebenezer Scrooge. This is Sasha with a little friend making art.

Every year in December, many of us encounter Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge, the squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner who lives a joyless life, underpaying his clerk, harassing debtors, and despising Christmas for its association with lavish spending. When approached for charity on Christmas Eve, Scrooge callously suggests the poor should help themselves or perish to reduce the surplus population.
Things change when Scrooge is visited by his former partner Jacob Marley's ghost, who is forever bound by chains as punishment for greed and inhumanity. Confronted by the ghosts of past, present, and future Christmases, Scrooge is transformed. Awakening on Christmas day, he eagerly seizes the opportunity for change, embracing generosity and compassion.

180 years and still relevant

A Christmas Carol, written 180 years ago, remains relevant today. While our surroundings have evolved, children still go hungry, injustice, and human suffering persist. Worldwide, people endure misery not just due to poverty, but because they are lonely, bitter and penny-pinching. Unlike Scrooge, they may not be visited by Christmas ghosts, yet the remedy lies in serving and giving to others, a prescription rooted in science.
Charles Dickens may not have known that his prescribed cure for Scrooge—caring for others—is scientifically validated. Acts of kindness activate the brain's reward center, releasing feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.

Sasha, not Scrooge

The three siblings are living in poverty and war

Our colleague and team leader, Sasha, exemplifies this love in action. Motivated not by the pursuit of feel-good hormones but by genuine care, Sasha recently intervened in the lives of three neglected siblings in Ukraine. Providing them with food, care, and a safe haven at his church, Sasha's love brought positive change. The children's mother, moved by the care shown to her kids, decided to end her drug abuse. Although the family remains vulnerable, the mother is determined to change, receiving support from the church community.
Sasha shared with us: "It makes my heart feel so good." Love, when translated into action, has transformative power, bringing joy not only to those we serve, but also to those who give.
Sasha didn’t need the Christmas ghosts to visit him at night to be convinced that when we encounter hungry and neglected children, we must act with love. In this case, love was food. Love was a caring adult. Love was a warm place to come to. Love was help with homework. Love was playing games and laughing.

In the same breath

This holiday season, find joy in giving. There is delight in serving. Get rid of the old Scrooge and embrace the new, the one who was laughing and crying in the same breath: 

"I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

Oddny G


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