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Advent and Bah, Humbug!

Updated: Nov 30, 2021



Bah, humbug is well-known from the book A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens. According to Richard Jones from his article What Does Humbug Mean?, Dickens uses the word "humbug" to suggest fraud, since Scrooge, old curmudgeon that he is, considers the celebration of Christmas, and all the festivities associated with it, to be a total sham (Jones).

A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite books to read at this time or year. I find it to be not a coincidence that it also reminds me of Advent, my favorite time of the year. Advent is a time to reflect on the past year, the choices I made and how much Jesus was present in my daily life. As we reflect, we can decide to go forward with hope, love, joy and peace in our lives. As Scrooge is visited by each ghost, he reflects on happenings in his past, and how they have influenced the person he has become. From his past experiences he could have been a generous businessman or a selfish businessman. He chooses himself and making money before everything else and, in his present time he becomes the miserly, lonely old businessman. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows him only one outcome if he does not change his ways. Just when Scrooge discovers he has not missed Christmas he says, "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy, I am as giddy as a drunken man" (Dickens, 143-144). I hope that we can all feel as joyous Scrooge on Christmas morning. And as we move forward into the new year, I hope that we can make the same vow as Scrooge makes after his visit from the three spirits "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year!" (Dickens, 141).


Dickens , Charles . A Christmas Carol (Original 1843 Edition): Annotated. Kindle Edition.

Jones, Richard. “The Meaning of Bah Humbug in a Christmas Carol.” n.d. London Walking Tours (blog). Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.london-walking-tours.co.uk/dickens-london/bah-humbug.htm.