A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

(No Series)

Scrooge, the most miserly of all misers, is shown the true meaning of Christmas by four ghostly visitors - his partner Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come. By Christmas day, he has learnt his lesson and is willing to enter into the spirit of things.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

A Christmas Carol has become such a classic of the holiday that it's practically a part of Christmas tradition for some families. If you think of a Christmas book, this one will definitely pop up. Surprisingly this is my first year actually reading it, although of course I'd seen an animated version. There are SO many animated versions, and plays, and... clearly the story is popular.

I'm not a big fan of Dickens, but haven't given up on him yet - here he tells the story craftily with beautiful writing. It's not overdone with flowery language or too many pauses in between content, unlike other times I've tried his thicker works. It's not at all hard to read and instead comes across graceful with writing like this:

“No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused”


“He was consious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.”

It's hard to rate a plot I already know so well, but it was an inventive and predictable one. The ghost of Christmas past is more jolly, the ghost of the present has an ominous ending (and those children are creepy) and it makes sense the third, filled with doom, would be silent. Dickens did a good job fleshing out the characters in what was supposed to be a moral tale. Most were there as archetypes to loan the moral lesson cred, even to the point of Tiny Tim who is supposed to be seen as so sweet and helpful his name starts with 'tiny', but despite this not many can say they haven't heard of Ebenezer Scrooge. He was not only a fully fleshed out character, but he became one of the most popular characters in literature, theater and film.

A wonderful book that showcases moral lessons that are suitable for the entire year, but especially at Christmas, especially when you want to turn that frown upside down and get rid of the 'humbug' mentality. Bring on the Christmas cheer!

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