Thanksgiving is here and I’ve been watching Christmas movies. Somehow I’m in the mood early this year.

The latest is “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” a story about Charles Dickens creating perhaps his best-known story, A Christmas Carol, about Ebenezer Scrooge and the haunting of the Christmas Ghosts.

This movie’s interpretation of the story and depicting the author’s struggles to work it out seems to be entirely made up, but yet, it shows the importance of the story and why it has lasted for two centuries.

At the heart of the story is the belief that people can change.

What made the difference?

Scrooge not only saw and felt the consequences of his actions; he saw the hurt he had caused to all the people in his life. He relived his experiences with the good people who cared about him. He had to ponder what went wrong in his life.

A Christmas Carol is a story of restorative practices. The ghosts did not come to punish, but to force the villain to consider his ways and make a change. They gave him an opportunity to set things right.

The feel-good ending to the story is that Scrooge took advantage of the new life granted to him and became the epitome of love and charity.

Charles Dickens wanted us to know that people can change. It won’t be easy, not as easy as the novelist penned in the last chapter, but it can happen.

A reminder as the season comes upon us of why we need restorative practices in our schools. Children can change. They will change if we create the community and belonging that they crave.

Let’s get to it.

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