The book ‘A Christmas Carol’ by ‘Charles Dickens’ gained popularity among the old and the young alike. I find that this isn’t surprising. I was hardly ten when I first read the abridged version of this book and as time wore on I found myself clamoring to read the unabridged version of it too! Was I disappointed? Not at all! In fact, as a youngster I found myself astounded as every year at Christmas, most of the cartoons that we watched revolved around this theme. Yes, ‘A Christmas Carol’ can be found in so many forms throughout Christmas. Sometimes, you may see the tale unfold in real life. Not really but metaphorically!
The book was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and was published during the run up to Christmas (19th December). While the book met a lot of critical acclaim, the story however caught on like wild fire. It didn’t take much to make it one of the bestselling books of the time. What makes the book even better is the fact that all these years later, the novella is still hailed as a classic in our times.
The story revolves around a man called Ebenezer Scrooge. This man was known far and wide because of just one thing… He was a miser! In fact this book is where the saying ‘Don’t be a scrooge’ (i.e. Don’t be a miser) originates.That however was just one aspect of his personality.
Ebenezer Scrooge was also known to be old and grumpy. He was a man who found himself at odds with life. He was a person without friends and well wishers. Ebenezer Scrooge was a man who lived for himself and by himself. Oddly enough, he was a man who was happy with this style of life!
Another thing that will startle you as you begin your first chapters is Ebenezer’s hatred for Christmas. This fact is emphasized by the way he acts and even by his thought process.
The story goes on to tell us about how this man is visited by three ghosts… The ghost of the ‘Past’, the ghost of the ‘Present’ and the ghost of the ‘Yet to come’ (also know as the ghost of the ‘future’)! It is these ghosts that quite literally take him on a journey of a lifetime. It’s a journey that shows him exactly who he is and how he has lived. More importantly it shows Ebenezer what he is due to become… A lost and hated man… A man without friends… A man without love!
It is this journey that ultimately serves as an eye opener. It changes him from a grumpy old man to a kind and gentle man. It rips away the bitter cold exterior and allows the reader to see the sensitive and humble man that he could potentially be.
‘A Christmas Carol ’ is not just any book. It is a book that serves as an eye opener to all of us. Are we like Ebenezer Scrooge? Do we act miserly? Are we unmindful of what happens around us?
The story takes us down a path where we can’t help but question our true purpose in life and wonder what our past, present and future say about us. The real question however is… If our past and present do not sing laurels about us, are we willing to change and let our humility dictate our future?