10 April

What the dickens

The story of the birth of Jesus is one of the important tales of Christmas. Another is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and I’ll summarise it for you in case you haven’t read it.[1]

Ebeneezer Scrooge is a rich miser who hates Christmas,[2] rejects appeals to charity and won’t pay his clerk Bob Cratchit for the Christmas holiday. He is visited by four ghosts:

  • His dead partner Marley who tells Scrooge of the three spirits to follow him
  • The ghost of Christmas Past who shows Scrooge the happy Christmasses of his youth, and his fiancée Belle (who left him because he loved money more than her)
  • The ghost of Christmas Present who shows Scrooge the happy but humble Christmas preparations of the Cratchit family which includes Tiny Tim who is sick and will die soon
  • The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who shows Scrooge his own poorly-attended funeral a year later

Scrooge changes heart, celebrates Christmas with his nephew, sends the Cratchit family a turkey, pays Bob more and becomes a second father to Tiny Tim, who says “God bless us, everyone!” and does live on after all.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” is quite faithful to the original text[3] and can be a quick way to get up to speed if you don’t feel like reading something (literally) Dickensian.

10 apr 2016.jpg
Scrooged.

“Should I invite that boyfriend of Hannah’s to go skiing with us?” Don asked me.

“He’s history,” I replied.

“Just as well I asked,” said Don.

[1] But if you’re planning to read it, run away and do so now before I spoil it for you.

[2] He was the first to say “Bah, humbug!” and many have quoted him since.

[3] With a few small variations – like two ghosts of Marley (and Bob Cratchit being a frog, of course).

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