Posted by: Lizzie Ross | December 23, 2011

Holiday ghosts

A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens

Unbelievable, that I could reach my age without ever having read Dickens’ classic. I’ve seen movie versions (Alistair Sim’s 1951 Scrooge is my favorite, followed closely by Bill Murray’s 1988 Scrooged), heard radio versions, and seen TV specials. But I’ve never actually picked up the book.

So, before Christmas is upon me again, I’ve decided to read it. But I don’t have a copy, and the library is closed! Never fear, the internet sends a version straight to my computer. A cup of tea, a slice of fruitcake, and a background of holiday music sets the mood.

Surely I don’t need to recount the plot: clanking chains, ghosts, cute kid suffering from mysterious ailment in his leg, a changed life. Dickens gives us London before Christmas became a hugely commercial enterprise (cue Stan Freberg’s Green Christmas). No garish light displays, no holiday greeting cards, no corner lot devoted to neon colored aluminum trees. Not even a brightly wrapped package anywhere to be seen. Just family gatherings and food.

Sounds good to me.

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