A Christmas Carol ~ A Traditional Classic

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“Don’t be cross, uncle,” said the nephew.

“What else can I be,” returned the uncle, “when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon Merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ’em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” (A Christmas Carol, Chapter 1)

A Christmas CarolChristmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year. A time when we reflect on the Nativity of Jesus, remember the poor and downtrodden, rejoice in being with family, and giving gifts to family and friends. However, many people lose the Christmas spirit and go through the holidays grumbling about the cost of gifts and food. As Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ novella illustrates, Christmas is “a humbug.” Although Scrooge is the epitome of miserliness and greed, he is at heart a sympathetic character and proves that everyone can be redeemed.

About A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens wrote his most famous work in 1843 and it instantly became a best seller and critical success. It is now considered a classic and a staple of the Christmas season.

It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who own a counting house in London. He treats his only employee Bob Cratchit miserably, paying him low wages. Cratchit is the antithesis of Scrooge—a nice family man, who does the best he can to raise his children, one of whom is crippled. Scrooge repeatedly scoffs at Christmas as a “humbug.” One Christmas Eve, he is visited by his deceased partner, Jacob Marley. Marley comes to warn him to change his ways, or be doomed to wander the earth after death. Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts—the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They take Scrooge on a journey to his past, present, and future. We are shown his lonely childhood, his grief at his sister’s passing, and his failed romantic relationship. We see his lonely death if he does not change his ways.

Scrooge wakes up Christmas morning a changed man. He makes amends with his nephew, and gives his employee a substantial raise and a prize turkey for his dinner. Tiny Tim, Cratchit’s sick son, does not die thanks to Scrooge’s financial help.

Why Read A Christmas Carol

Despite its title, A Christmas Carol has much to offer all of us, not just at Christmas, but all through the year. It is especially a good reminder during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, when we get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and forget the true meaning of Christmas. There is a bit of Scrooge in all of us, and Dickens wrote this to serve as a message of hope.

If a miser such as Scrooge can be redeemed, then there is hope for all of us.


IMG_1272Jennifer grew up in Tallahassee, FL. She has a PhD in Russian history, and taught college for 15 years. She is now a stay at home mom living in Lincoln, NE with her husband James and 2 girls, Katherine and Deborah. She enjoys reading, cooking, and ballroom dancing.

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