Classics Corner: A Christmas Carol

Start Christmas off right with a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Dickens, perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, wrote the novella to bring the joy and meaning of Christmas to the masses. Now anyone can read this classic story, its quality assured not just by my infallible words, but also by its countless adaptations into film, theatre, and TV. This original version of the holiday classic is only 75 pages long, and it’s absolutely worth the read this winter break. Oozing charm, wit, and Christmas spirit, this book is a great way to truly start feeling the spirit of the season.

Though most readers already know the story of A Christmas Carol from one of the many adaptations, the basic premise is as follows: Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy, thoroughly unspirited, old man who hates Christmas. Over the course of four ghostly visitations Ebenezer learns to cherish the Christmas spirit and to be generous and good. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, all help Scrooge to come to the realization that Christmas is truly an important time of the year and a little holiday spirit isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Dickens uses fantastic language to support this simple plotline, driving home witty remarks with complex diction in a kaleidoscope of words. Wit and good humor are juxtaposed with emotional depth and maturity that bring the book to a sublime completeness. The visitation of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come can coexist with joyously raucous holiday parties because of Dickens’ genius. Relatively short, the story bursts with character and spirit, wit and good humor, without dragging or feeling rushed at any point. 

Take some time this Christmas season to read A Christmas Carol. It’s a fun, quick read that guaranteed to put anyone in the Christmas spirit. If paper copies are hard to come by, don’t worry, it’s available online at Project Gutenberg and most other public domain ebook distributors.