Mini classic review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late. Then on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three different ghosts of Christmas, who show him his past, his present, and his future, and teach him a lesson about the ways in which he treats people.

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“If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!

I know it’s probably strange to review a Christmas book in January, but I actually read A Christmas Carol in January so … full circle! I also watched a performance of this book in Washington DC at the Ford Theatre, which was an incredible night and inspired me to read the story.

This is the only Dickens book I’ve read but it definitely won’t be my last. I enjoyed Dickens writing, and the vivid way he makes Victorian London come to life. Additionally, the book is quite humorous but at the same time, genuinely scary. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future were so interesting and I wished the story was a little bit longer to find out a bit more about them, but obviously the story isn’t about them.

But of course, it wouldn’t be a Dickens novel without timely social commentary about the wealthy. The prime message of this story is that the rich need to be more philanthropic or they’ll be hated and forgotten by everyone once they’ve passed. What’s the point in being wealthy if you don’t share your wealth with those less fortunate than you? Dickens really was the master of scaring the rich straight. Don’t think this would work today though.

Essentially, A Christmas Carol is a classic for a reason. I’ve re-watched the Muppet Christmas Carol more times than I can count, and I can see myself reading this short story again and again.

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