I have a lot of favorite Christmas characters, but for this blog post, I’m going to feature only five. To spice up things a bit, I asked one of our resident artists at Oro Teatro Bulawanon, Nicolas Salcedo, to interpret three of the characters using his makeup transformation skills.
Ebenezer Scrooge is the central character in Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”. In the story, Scrooge is portrayed as a selfish, inconsiderate, greedy, and heartless character. He is rich, but he doesn’t share his wealth with anyone. He treats the poor with disdain. His favorite expression is “Bah, humbug!”, which means disapproval or displeasure.
Things change for Scrooge after he is visited by three Christmas ghosts – Ghosts of the Christmas Past, Ghost of the Christmas Present, and Ghost of the Christmas Future.
I love Scrooge because he’s a real person. He can be anybody you know – a friend, relative, associate, or acquaintance. I also love what Scrooge symbolizes: hope. There is always hope for anyone, anywhere, and anytime (but most especially at Christmas!). There is always hope that even the most vile person can change and embrace love, humility, understanding, and faith.
Scrooge is the hope that we need in these most challenging times.
The Grinch is an iconic character created by the brilliant children’s author Dr. Seuss for the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas“. Like Scrooge, the Grinch is all about money and material things. He didn’t care about others and stole a lot of Christmas stuff from the citizens of Whoville. The Grinch hates Christmas and wants to put an end to it.
Eventually, the grouchy, solitary Grinch realizes that “maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more than just presents and feasting”. His heart grows bigger and he learns to love Christmas and even celebrates with the people of Whoville.
The Grinch is a loveable character despite his eccentric ways. I love how he transforms into a completely different – and better – “person” after discovering the joys of Christmas through the residents of Whoville. The Grinch reminds me that there is always a good side to everyone – and Christmas is the best time for this better self to shine.
“Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” actually takes place during the Halloween season in a place called Halloween Town. However, I also consider it a Christmas story because Jack Skellington, who rules the town, becomes obsessed with Christmas and even creates a Sandy Claws, Santa Claus’ counterpart. So the story crosses over from Halloween to Christmas, and I like that. A lot.
Jack, despite being called the Pumpkin King, has grown tired of Halloween and was in search of something different when he discovered a portal to Christmas Town. He loved the idea of celebrating Christmas, but instead of letting Santa Claus do all the hard work, he wants to do everything. So, he transforms into Sandy Claws and replaces Santa. Of course, things do not work out well. Imagine getting a Halloween-themed gift under on Christmas morning!
After a major mishap, Jack realizes his mistake, reignites his love for Halloween, and discovers the wonders of Christmas. He and Santa Claus help each other and Halloween Town experiences is first Christmas, complete with snow.
Jack may look scary and intimidating but deep inside, he’s a thoughtful and caring leader who only want the best for his town and its residents. He’s also a little curious and can sometimes go overboard. Overall, Jack is a lovable, adorable character anybody would find easy to love!
(P.S. I also like his love story with Sally.)
Ghost of the Christmas Past
The Ghost of the Christmas Past is from “A Christmas Carol”. He looks creepy, with his eyes staring straight at you, but he’s instrumental in helping Scrooge change for the better.
By showing glimpses of the past, the Ghost of the Christmas Past reminds Scrooge of the person he used to be; of the life he used to have. The ghost bridges the past to the present and helps Scrooge realize how much (and why) he has changed.
The trip to the past is one way of showing Scrooge that he wasn’t always grumpy and miserable.
The Ghost of the Christmas Past reminds to look back to where we once were. Success, material possessions, and other worldly things often make us forget the people, the events that helped shape our present.
The Ghost of the Christmas Future
Also from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, the Ghost of the Christmas Future looks scary because he represents a dark period in the life of Ebenezer Scrooge. The silent ghost shows what can happen to Scrooge if he does not change his ways. Dark and lonely scenes flash as the future shows him images of an old, disliked man whom nobody seems to care about.
Seeing what his future looks and feels like drives Scrooge to become a better person. He wakes up to a new day and begins to treat everyone with respect and kindness, and he begins to embody the meaning of Christmas.
The Ghost of the Christmas Future connects our past and present actions to our future. Whatever we do today matters because it contributes to the future that awaits us. Our future is ours to create because we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our soul (Invictus, by William Ernest Henley).
So, there you have it, five of my favorite Christmas movie characters. How about you, what are your favorites? Care to share them with me?
Merry Christmas, everyone!
(P.S. I wanted to include John McClane of Die Hard, but that would be a really long post because, well, I’ll have to enumerate the many reasons why I love him! 🙂 )