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Charles Dickens

"Everyone knows what we have called the uvula fallen; but we may not imagine that this disease, which in general does not
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
Only do the traditional holiday stuff you enjoy doing. If cooking a Christmas feast makes you miserable, your family will be thrilled with frozen pizza. Make the Christmas of 2015 about who we are instead of what we do, buy or cook.
Bob Cratchit comes out as the true hero of Dicken's novel A Christmas Carol -- a worker, a family man, a believer in the goodness of people. London, Ontario just witnessed a similar example yesterday, as Kellogg's employees, despite the devastating news of the impending shutdown, raised $10,000 and purchased quality foodstuffs for the local food bank. If we are ever to find a reason for believing in Christmas, this is it.
Despite the plethora of Canadian-made Christmas movies sprinkling the Yuletide floor like pine needles, the "Great Canadian Christmas" movie still seems to be that one item Santa never gets around to delivering. And I mean that on two fronts -- both a great "Christmas" movie, and a Christmas movie that is unapologetically "Canadian."
A few years back I had an affair with a friend who'd been one of Toronto's most exclusive and expensive whores. To her, prostitution was a job pretty much like any other. She wrote: "Like any other whore I've ever known, I have two lives. One life earns all this money for being available for men and women who want -- and can afford to pay -- for the pleasure of my company. It's the other life, my personal life, that's my real life. The life where I win and lose, behave well or badly, am happy or sad. The part of my life where there's real meaning. ... When I'm working there's nothing womanly involved. Just business. "
As the number of those trapped in poverty swell there will be a growing yearning in society to show that poverty is systemic and not personal and one of their main allies will be Charles Dickens. People who refuse to lift themselves from their circumstances are one thing; those trapped in confining events despite all their best efforts are something else entirely and they make up the critical mass of those increasingly on the margins of society.