|Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. |
Illus. by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. Title page. Public Domain.
This is the book that marked the beginning of much of our modern day celebration of Christmas, minus the commercialism. Charles Dickens' classic tale of remorse and redemption brings special joy to everyone. Having read this story several times in my life, I still never tire of it; its simple message of love and caring never grows old. It has an appeal that transcends cultural and religious differences, since it exhorts everyone to be their brother's keeper. As Jacob Marley's ghost despairingly wails to Ebenezer Scrooge, "Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" This is the essence of Christmas, if we would all keep it in our hearts.