At a time when Christmas traditions were growing less and less popular, Charles Dickens became the saviour of Christmas Spirit. A Christmas Carol was an excellent reminder that Christmas should never be forgotten, but celebrated with a hearty meal, good humour, and a benevolent disposition.
I was surprised to find out that this jovial holiday almost came to an end during Dickens’s time. And yet this novel serves as a small history lesson, informing us that Dickensian England knew more Scrooges than I fancied. By exposing such a character as Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickens exposed every man, woman, and child who had a similar unpleasant attitude about Christmas. And by teaching Scrooge what Christmas should be about, Dickens reignited the spark of festive tradition that was slowly dying away in the hearts of the people.
The work deals with a serious issue, and still is as light a story as could be (coming from under Dickens’s pen, that is). Its approachable length and magical component made and continue to make the story suitable for a reader of any age and mental capacity. I really enjoyed this short novel, especially considering that I read it during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And I have to admit, this was my first time reading A Christmas Carol. Being a lover of Dickens, I consider this a shameful thing. However, as I have read and loved it now, my remnant duty is to spread my love to every reader. Which includes You.
Recently, upon discussing Dickens’s irreplaceable contribution to the literary world, my relative remarked that Dickens’s importance has much to do with the history of the time period that he so masterfully captures in his works. Thinking over this, I now realize how true this statement is. Dickens’s contribution is as historical as it is literary, for there is much to uncover from his novels about customs, economy, class distinctions, and even menu choices of the time period. A Christmas Carol is a wonderful example of that, too. It reflects the mentality around Christmas that many have developed at the time. But its historical significance is much greater. A Christmas Carol gracefully restores Christmas by connecting its past, present, and future. It is as fresh and relevant now as it was during the 1840’s when it was written. Definitely a classic, quintessential Christmas read!