Ignorance & Want

Here’s my holiday card from 2006, again, inspired by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. I received comments like,”That’s a Christmas card?”Looks more like a Halloween card! “and “People just aren’t gonna get it.”

I realized some people might not get it at first, but if they happen to catch any one of the movie versions, read the book, or see the live play, there might be that “Aha!”moment, when they remember the card and “get it.” So not only will there be the initial viewing but also remembering of the image, doubling its impact. I do know that at least one person revisited the book to gain a better understanding.

As for the Halloween card comment, it is a ghost story after all.

Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe,’ but I see
something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding
from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw.’

‘It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,’ was
the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. ‘Look here.’

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children;
wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt
down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

‘Oh, Man. look here. Look, look, down here.’ exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling,
wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where
graceful youth should have filled their features out, and
touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled
hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and
pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat
enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No
change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any
grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has
monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him
in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but
the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie
of such enormous magnitude.

‘Spirit. are they yours.’ Scrooge could say no more.

‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon
them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the
writing be erased. Deny it.’ cried the Spirit, stretching out
its hand towards the city. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse.
And abide the end.’

‘Have they no refuge or resource.’ cried Scrooge.

‘Are there no prisons.’ said the Spirit, turning on him
for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses.'”
– A Christmas Carol, Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits

Thanks to Celeste for playing the part of Want and to her mother Toni for bring her to the studio. Thanks to my brother-in-law Rick for Playing the Ghost of Christmas Present. Present as in, right now, not Presents!