Jump to content

Christmas and Dickens


Argus

Recommended Posts

I don't think any author did a better job of defining the spirit of Christmas, or at least, what is hoped for it, than Charles Dickens did with A Christmas Carol. Dickens seemed to do naturally and gracefully what so many writers and entertainers strives so hard and so clumsily for - empart a moral message with his work. Even 156 years after its publication the book and its inevitable movies have continued to be enjoyed and the moral embraced by people all over the world, year after year, every Christmas. I think Dickens probably had more influence over how we came to imagine the spirit of Christmas than any other man in history.

But most people are unaware that Christmas Carol was only one of Dickens' works about Christmas. I try to read through at least some of them every Christmas, when there's time, and yesterday night I re-read the short.. well you can't call it a story, but more of a narrative, or perhaps a commentary titled What Christmas Is As We Grow Older, in which he suggests we should gather all before the yule fire, all friends and foes, live and dead, all hopes and dreams, whether realized or not, all joys and sorrows and all we are or would be or never were. It's only a few pages, but quite moving in places.

Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy, to your shelter underneath the holly! We know you, and have not outlived you yet. Welcome, old projects and old loves, however fleeting, to your nooks among the steadier lights that burn around us. Welcome, all that was ever real to our hearts: and for the earnestness that made you real, thanks to Heaven!

And perhaps timely given the news of the other evening from Afghanistan.

There was a gallant boy, who fell, far away, upon a burning sand beneath a burning sun, and said, "Tell them at home, with my last love, how much I could have wished to kiss them once, but that I died contented and had done my duty." Or there was another, over whom they read the words, 'Therefore we commit his body to the deep,' and so consigned him to the lonely ocean and sailed on. Or there was another, who lay down to his rest in the dark shadow of a great forest, and, on earth, awoke no more. O shall they not, from sand and sea and forest, be brought home at such a time!

What Christmas is As We Grow Older

Edited by Argus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think any author did a better job of defining the spirit of Christmas, or at least, what is hoped for it, than Charles Dickens did with A Christmas Carol. Dickens seemed to do naturally and gracefully what so many writers and entertainers strives so hard and so clumsily for - empart a moral message with his work.
I have various thoughts about Dickens but on this point, I have to agree with you Argus.

Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a wonderful marriage of story, character and message. Others have used the story's premise in situations unrelated to Christmas. The character of Scrooge, for example, has entered the English language. And somehow, this Christian moral tale is not a sermon.

Something else. Unlike most of Dickens' novels, A Christmas Carol is very short.

Bah, humbug! But to all, a merry Christmas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Tell a friend

    Love Repolitics.com - Political Discussion Forums? Tell a friend!
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      10,770
    • Most Online
      1,403

    Newest Member
    Akalupenn
    Joined
  • Recent Achievements

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...