The Classics Club Meme #5: A Christmas Carol

The Classics Club asks:

What is your favorite memory of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Have you ever read it? If not, will you? Why should others read it rather than relying on the film adaptions?

I’ve read A Christmas Carol a zillion times, and my heart can do with reading it a zillion times more. Whose heart couldn’t? I think it’s not so much a Christmas story as a meditation on how to live life: with open hands and heart. We should strive to be generous, cheerful, kind, and noble-minded 365 days a year. Whilst I may say “Bah! Humbug!” to the commercial, plastic decorations and greedy want, want, want of Christmas Present, I cheerfully have drinks with friends, participate in cookie swaps, give gifts from organizations that help those who need some, and make presents for folks — in December, and all year ’round.

A Christmas Carol asks us to remember what’s important,

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

take time to laugh,

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.

and consider how we live all year.

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!

I can’t remember seeing any film adaptations (but I’m sure I must have when I was little), but you should read it because it’s very clever and funny,

You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!

it’s short, but contains all the Dickens Goodness you can ask for,

Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail.

and if you don’t tear up (even just a little!) at the end you have some serious flying around with ghosts Scrooge work to do, my friend!

Have a beautiful, wondrous, warm Winter Holiday and Every Single Day, everyone!


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  2. Patty @ A tale of three cities

    I am so glad to hear more and more people moving away from the ueber-commercialisation of our lives and seek out the simple, fulfilling and give-back experiences. I admire you for contributing in the little pleasures for everyone and every day!

    • jackiemania

      Even when I think back to childhood, my favorite holiday memories are of meals shared and laughter. I think part of it was because my grandparents were from Italy and we focused on the chestnut and figs aspect of the holidays, and not the commercial ones. Although I sure disliked the salted cod tradition!!!

  3. Wallace

    I read this post before bed last night, and it made me pop back up and grab the book from my shelves. It’s on my list anyway, so I figured I really should read it now, since Christmas is almost here.

    I tried once, and failed, because it was quite a bit spookier than I thought it would be. Patty, over on her blog, mentions how much more intense the book is than the adaptations, and that is certainly what I’m seeing so far. I’m actually quite looking forward to that aspect this time around.

      • Wallace

        I imagine – I remember going to a production (or two or three) around Christmases on field trips. But one would think it would be an excuse to show a movie in the classroom, too. It’s one of those stories that is so part of the Christmas culture that it’s difficult to even separate it from year to year (and what version you saw when)!

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