The inspiration for The Gift began in Manchester England 1843.
The cover jacket for Les Standiford’s 2008 book, The Man Who Invented Christmas begins as follows “Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself…He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.”
In his simple book, written out of financial necessity Dickens warned readers not to ignore their individual responsibility to help those in need around them. A Christmas Carol shaped the Christmas holiday we celebrate today and for over 160 years has inspired millions of readers to pause and reflect on their own good fortunes to engage in efforts to brighten the lives of others
Our Gift is unique…it’s purpose simple…to remind people of the responsibility each individual has to uplift his or her community by contributing needed services and support whenever and wherever they are needed.
The Gift, an annual free musical theatre production of A Christmas Carol, requires contributions of time and energy, human and financial resources, spiritual and civic support. The Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame de Namur University, the City of Belmont, individuals and organizations from surrounding communities have willingly contributed these resources throughout the years. Since 1985, with their assistance and support, over 100,000 people have been entertained and often inspired by performances of The Gift. Through their attendance at performances, they have donated over 40 tons of food and 25,000 toys that have been distributed to families in need each year.
Our Christmas Carol Family is committed to keeping The Gift alive in Belmont for years to come. In the words of Ebenezer Scrooge words… “ we will live in the Past the Present and the Future”…as each of us commit to “ honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year…” With the ongoing support of our friends and neighbors, we will continue to work to provide the resources required to produce The Gift.
“God Bless us, everyone!”
chair NDNU department of Theatre and Dance