A Christmas Package

Marley was dead. There was no doubt about it.

Scrooge never painted over Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterward, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley.

Scrooge, a father of three and sharp as steel. He was able to turn any deal to his advantage, always looking for the cheapest option to decrease his overall cost and increase profits. You see, Scrooge was a penny pincher. He sent out his products in the most cheaply of boxes. For he had no return policy, and if something arrived damaged, well, it was their fault for not ordering it with express shipping.

It was Christmas Eve, and Scrooge was not looking forward to the next day, as it meant a late night with his company inundated with complaints about products being damaged and people asking for their money back or some discount. “Well, it was just a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December. Humbug!”

That night Scrooge was visited by the ghost of Marley, who was seven years dead. He told Scrooge he must change the errors of his ways. Scrooge couldn’t understand why his former partner and a good man of business felt that Scrooge should change.

“Business!” scoffed the ghost, shaking his head slowly. “Mankind was my business. My neighbors, friends, employees, and customers were my business. Being charitable, showing mercy, and being benevolent, were all my business.” At which time Marley paused, tears rolling down his specter cheeks, “Our company was but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

He then explained to Scrooge that he would be visited by the ghost of Packaging Past, Present, and Future. And with one final warning, Marley was gone.

The Ghost of Packaging Past was a large box, full of paper, Styrofoam, and air cushions. It took Scrooge back to his first job, his internship with Fezziwig. The warehouse was a bit in disarray but, the boxes were well-built, sturdy, and the product was placed in the center with all manner of void filler to keep it safe. It was almost 7 pm when Scrooge heard old Fezziwig saying, “No more work tonight. It’s Christmas Ebenezer.” Within ten minutes, they had their stations all cleaned up. They were then on their way to the company Christmas party, where there would be dancing, cakes, and tasty food.

Scrooge couldn’t help but realize that Fezziwig had the power to make his employees and customers happy or unhappy. Sure, his packaging wasn’t cost saving, but he never remembered getting any angry calls about product arriving damaged.

After that, the second ghost—the Ghost of Packaging Present—arrived. This one looked like a standard box size indistinguishable from a thousand boxes Scrooge had seen before. The six-sided package took Scrooge to the present-day Christmas, to the homes of families who had received a product in one of Scrooge’s boxes. Scrooge watched as many people gave others a gift, and waited excitedly as they opened it only to find the product damaged, torn, or broken. The gifted would still be thankful, but the giver and receiver were both disappointed. Scrooge couldn’t help but think of his own family and how they would react on Christmas had their gifts been damaged.

The last ghost arrived later that night. The Phantom slowly, gravely, and silently approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knees; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved, it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. This was the ghost of Packaging Future. Scrooge himself feared this package more than the others. It was old, it was stained, it was torn, and it looked like the only thing keeping it together was the tape wrapped around it. Scrooge was then shown his warehouse abandoned, run down, with graffiti on the outer walls, and windows were broken. His warehouse for sale.

Scrooge turned to the packaging ghost to ask a burning question, but the phantom did something none of the other apparitions had done that night.

The package slowly opened, revealing its contents. Scrooge peered into the box to see a leather-bound book Titled “The Memoir of a Good Businessman”. As he flipped through the pages, he saw his name. Next to it in red ink was only one word:

“Bankrupt.”

Scrooge turned to the floating package and asked, “Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be? Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, must lead to,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses are departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you have shown me tonight!”

The ghost of Packaging Future only floated in place silently. If it had a face, it would probably give Scrooge a twisted grin.

“Answer me!” demanded Scrooge.

Instead, the package only opened up further, revealing a bottomless pit of air pillows and void fill. It’s gaping maw opened wider, engulfing Scrooge in paper and polyethylene. Scrooge struggled but soon realized this might be his last moment on Earth—drowning in wasteful packaging.

With that, Scrooge woke up in his bed. Only to discover he hadn’t missed Christmas. Scrooge knew that the only way to change the outcome for him was to make changes to his packaging. With that, he sought a better way of packaging — one that would protect his products, while not being overly big or full of wasteful void fill.

This led him to Packsize, where he was able to find a machine that gave him the flexibility he needed to make boxes of different length and height, dividers, corner protections, and more. His employees and customers noticed this change, and couldn’t help but think that Scrooge had become a better man with a better product, for a better planet. Some people laughed to see the change in him, but he let them laugh. His own heart was full of happiness: and that was quite enough for him.

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