Some tales are so deeply set in the minds of people that they can’t help but talk of it. And it leaves a mark on the people they talk with and stay years after. They are tales that we never get tired of hearing, or reading or even seeing in a movie. Tales that are, and there is no better word that suits them, evergreen. One such tale is the tale of Scrooge which I had never read, but heard of from friends, and seen as cartoons during Christmas time when I was a child. I finally got around to reading it.
For those who haven’t heard of it, A Christmas Carol takes us to the world of miserly moneylender Ebenezer Scrooge, who even on Christmas Eve doesn’t find that Christmas spirit. He doesn’t share the cheer from his nephew, and refuses to give to charity. He is even reluctant to give a day off to his secretary. On the night, he is visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley, who tells him he’ll be visited by three spirits, that he must listen to their words or forced to carry chains of his own, like Marley does. The first is the Ghost of Christmas Past, the second is the Ghost of Christmas Present and the third is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Over the course of the night, each ghost visits him and takes him on a journey of sorts. The night changes him in ways nobody expects.
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I smiled as I read Fred’s cheerfulness, fseeing Scrooge remember the paths of his past, and cried seeing him moved by the memories of a time when he was much kinder. It made me wonder. I wondered about regret, regretting the loss of that kindness, that innocence, that simplicity we all have when we are children, and then seem to misplace it as we grow up, of how money seems to matter more than relationships then. Scrooge shows his new found grit as he tells the Spirit of the Present to take him forward, even though he knows what may come. It shows him happiness that he’s missing out in, and happiness that he’s taking away from the present with his stinginess. Scrooge knows what the last Spirit might show, still he pleads with the Spirit to lead him on, to see where his life is headed. After that, he makes a vow to change, and keeps it. This book is one that, through Scrooge, makes me look at life in a new light.
I shall read it again, I shall read it often, for this is a timeless tale that shows Christmas and the spirit of kindness, innocence and joy is there in our hearts all year long.
Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Atria Books
(26th November 2014)