Even if you’ve never read/seen A Christmas Carol, you know who Ebenezer Scrooge is. He’s the biggest Christmas villain, right behind the Grinch, the Krampus, and the girl at Godiver who knows you already had your free sample of a Christmas truffle and won’t give you more. He’s the kind of guy who goes to a birthday dinner and eats all the share appetizers then only pays for his Coke when the bill comes; a complete douchecanoe who hates Christmas and stiffs all his employees out of money even though he has l i t e r a l mountains of cash. He says, “Bah! Humbug!” whenever anyone wishes him a Merry Christmas, which, okay cool guy.
Scrooge is so easy to hate, but is he actually a waste of space, or is he a secret hero? You know how on closer inspection Draco goes from being a jerkoff to a kind of complex hero? Someone you kind of feel sorry for? There are actually some super surprising things about Scrooge you never noticed—hold on to your top hat, because I’m about to knock it clear into the Thames with my ruminations on why Ebenezer is all of us on Christmas…
1. Scrooge was a rebel for his time.
Scrooge is the O.G. of opting out of Christmas. When you go home each year, your parents probably ask you if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. In Scrooge’s time, your parents would have been asking you if we were engaged or pregnant yet. *ughhhhhh* Family was even more important to society in Victorian times than it is today, in that if you pumped out a bunch of kids, hey, now you have your own chimney-cleaning business and can make some moolah. Not only is Scrooge unmarried, but he actively doesn’t care about children unless they’re super charming. His surly bachelordom is the most masterful answer to “so, are you seeing anyone?” we have ever seen.
2. Handling the world’s dirty jobs is heroic, thankless work.
Scrooge is responsible for collecting loan repayments on the money he lends out. He’s the one who has to knock on doors, tell the people inside they own money, and kick them out if they can’t afford their house anymore. It’s a thankless job. He’s basically one step above the guy who removes YouTube videos when they sample too much of a copyrighted song. (H8 u.) Lots of us have to take crappy jobs. Did Draco really want his first job to be Assassin of Dumbledore? Would he rather have been accio-ing pebbles at magical squirrels in the Forbidden Forest than getting apprenticed by the Second Coming of evil, fetal turban edition? YES. Do we feel a little sorry for these guys who are sucked into the family business against their own will? Maybe a little!
Note: There are some hints that maybe Scrooge and Marley did some underhanded business deals during their work together. That’s 100% wrong.
3. It’s not against the law to not like Christmas!
Lots of people don’t like Christmas: People born on Christmas Day; people who don’t look good in red stripy pajamas; people who bemoan holiday candy (NO TO MINT KIT KATS. NO.); people whose parents are the Malfoys. Chandler hates Thanksgiving, and his Friends are tolerant of that. (Why does he hate it? Because he found out his father was boinking the pool boy while he had a mouthful of turkey.) There are lots of reasons why someone just might not like Christmas.
The only difference between Scrooge and people who opt of of Christmas today is that, thanks to the internet, Christmas haters now have a community. If Scrooge had found Miss Havisham online for some Christmas Eve h8mas/sub-Reddit-and-chill, all of England would have been better off.
4. It’s not against the law to not give money to charity.
Again, Scrooge isn’t so much evil as he is ahead of his time. How annoyed are you when someone asks you to donate to a charity for the millionth time? Or when someone asks you to donate to their crocheted Louis Tomlinson craft Kickstarter when you don’t really have money. Admit it: You’re a little annoyed. Scrooge was just the first person to actively say he was annoyed by charity shaming. It made his gracious (and sincere) act of giving at the end of the story that much more powerful.
5. How was Scrooge supposed to know about Tiny Tim?
If Les Miserables is any indication, there wasn’t a ton of chummy friendship between employers and employees in that period of time. Sure, Scrooge could have been nicer to his clerks. But it’s a safe bet that Bob Cratchit probably never mentioned to Scrooge that he had a handicapped son and may need financial help or extra health benefits. It wasn’t the time for employee-run food drives or even office Christmas parties. So is it fair to get on Scrooge for not helping someone he didn’t even know could benefit from his help?
6. Jacob Marley was his bro to the end.
It’s Christmas canon that no man is a failure if he has friends. So what does it say about Ebenezer Scrooge that he had a friend willing to come back from beyond the grave to warn him about a terrible fate? That maybe he was at least an okay dude.
7. Scrooge is pretty much in constant grief.
The life of Ebenezer Scrooge is one plagued by death and grief. His precious lil sister Fran (who loved him) died while giving birth to his annoying nephew Fred, who serves in the story as a reminder to Scrooge of the only relative he ever had that cared about him. You’d have complicated feelings about attending that guy’s Christmas party, too, in the same way Draco isn’t going to be able to visit his ten-year reunion without remembering the time he tried to murder the headmaster.
Meanwhile, Scrooge’s business partner Marley has passed away. This makes Scrooge the sole head of his money-lending firm. He has power, sure. But he has no one to bounce ideas off of about the business or to even joke around with while the clerks work. It’s lonely at the top. Won’t you forgive this guy for opting out of the figgy pudding and Christmas jammies?
ARE YOU CONVINCED OF THE COMPLEX AGONIES OF EBENEZER? DO YOU FORGIVE DRACO OR HAVE WE JUST REAWAKENED ALL THE DIFFICULT HP FEELS YOU WERE TRYING TO KEEP A LID ON?