I quite liked the idea of a bonus, Christmas novel so here you go!
A Christmas Carol
In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family's meagre income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favourite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.
With its characters exhibiting many qualities ― as well as failures ― often ascribed to Dickens himself, the imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warm-hearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England's greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas
About the Author
Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.
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Finished. Thanks for putting up this thread. I probably never would have read this, and really enjoyed it.
Of course, I've had a lot of exposure to the story through film, plays, etc. I think the original, for me, has been the most effective format. I tried to ignore prior knowledge of the work, and that helped me really appreciate what Dickens accomplished here.
The imagery is impressive: Marley's chains made from his sins, the reflection of Scrooge's personality in his gloomy chambers, the grim spirit of future, the scenes of Christmas merriment.
Characters were surprisingly interesting despite the brevity of the piece. Scrooge did seem a little quick in his revelation, considering what a ... well, Scrooge he was.
The theme was carried out well with the relationship between Scrooge and Cratchit, the well-off and the needy. Tiny Tim (again with imagery) was a memorable example of perseverance and Christmas spirit in the face of misfortunes.
Written in a time when Christmas traditions old and new were being explored, the story has many things we consider standards today, a testament to the quality and impact of it. It's a great piece in which to find a little holiday spirit.