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A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens: Review

Ebenezer Scrooge is a tight-fisted, hard-hearted, money-hoarding businessman who scoffs at Christmas and everything it entails. He is unfeeling toward the needy, unkind toward his fellow man, and uncomprehending of the great cost of his own greed to his soul.

Not until the ghost of his late business partner appears to him on Christmas Eve does Scrooge begin to question the price of his cruel ways. He is warned by this ghost of three Spirits to come: the Spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. Through them, Scrooge will see himself as he truly was, is, and could be . . . and how, through the joy, love, and generosity of Christmas, he may alter his fate for the better.

I'm honestly surprised that it took me this long to undertake this timeless Christmas classic. I've experienced multiple renditions of it, from Dan Stevens' The Man Who Invented Christmas to the indisputably Oscar-worthy Muppet Christmas Carol, and I'm fairly certain that at some point or another I've seen snippets of both live-action and animated versions. As a result, I was familiar with this story. But as is usually the case . . . nothing can compare to the original!

A Christmas Carol is a story of a man whose greed, avarice, and muddled priorities cause him to lose sight of what is truly important. Scrooge's love of money becomes the driving force of his existence, preventing him from opening his heart to those in need, or to the joy and selflessness of Christmas. It takes visits from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to enlighten him to who he is—a selfish, hardened villain who is not only unloving toward others, but is unloved and unwanted himself.

This book is one of Charles' Dickens shorter stories, and the brevity and simplicity combined make it one of his most powerful. In seeing the damage he inflicts on others and on his own soul, Scrooge must recognize the final destination of the path he is on. The lessons he learns from the three Spirits of Christmas urge him to make a choice that will change the trajectory of his life, and the result is a heartwarming, thought-provoking story of the spirit of giving that goes hand in hand with Christmas.

Content Notes: this story features ghosts, one of which is a man who lived a selfish life and is now consigned to walk the earth restlessly forever. Not necessarily biblical, granted, but the deeper message of the story is one of Godliness and giving.

A Christmas Carol is deserving of its place as a well-loved Christmas classic, and I so enjoyed experiencing the timeless original at last!

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