Book Review – A Christmas Carol

Hello hello, and welcome or welcome back to my little corner of the interent. And, if you happen to be reading on the same day as my writing, a very merry Christmas to you.

I’ve shared a couple of times that one of my wintery traditions, being non-religious, is book related. Every Christmas Eve, I sit down and read A Christmas Carol. It’s a very short book, and I’ve suggested it before when talking about classics to read if you don’t think you like classics. Here’s my review, and why I feel this is one of my all time favourite books.

A Christmas Carol, first published in 1843, tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man hardened both by his experiences and for his love of money, who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. After the spirits’ visits, Scrooge decides to be a kinder and gentler man.
Dickens captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. Many people acknowledge this short novel as an influence on the modern Western traditions of Christmas and inspired several aspects of the festive period, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a generosity of spirit.

Firstly, my apologies, as there are so many options for what to pick as a cover and synopsis for this novel, with there being so many versions of the book, that I just went for what I thought most captured the feel!

I first read A Christmas Carol when I was quite young. Obviously, if you’re around my age, you will have seen a version full of Michael Caine and Kermit the Frog, and I’ve even met some people who have only heard of this story through A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; the film, despite the array of stuffed animals, captures the vibe of the book very well, and is even relatively loyal to the dialogue.

However, the book is an utterly glorious read, and it really is one to not miss out on. Even, as I said in the shared post above, if you’re not keen on classics (or don’t think you are; there’s a classic out there for everyone), this book feels almost modern in its message; to do better, to be kinder, to remember to count our blessings. All of this is true whether you find that message inside a church or beside your cat, and especially in a time where so much has been impacted by circumstances, it’s even more of something to hold on to.

Scrooge learns throughout the pages how much he has been blind to, how much he has decided to forget, and how much he still has to learn. He sees what his fate could be – his belongings stolen, his funeral ignored – if he doesn’t open his heart to people. And so he finds it within himself to be able to wish people a merry Christmas.

It’s a ghostly tale of morality, but also about finding hope in the darkest corners; Tiny Tim’s family show Scrooge how to be happy even with nothing, and Scrooge comes to be as a “second father” to Tiny Tim. It always makes me cry, and, especially this year, helps me find Christmas spirit when I might be lacking.

So there we are. Today’s review. It’s a special one, this book, and I think even if you don’t celebrate Christmas in a traditional – or any – sense, there is still so much to be said for it.

I hope you all have a peaceful, happy day, and if you can’t have that, then I hope you have one soon.

Merry Christmas. x

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