As a normal twentysomething American woman, I naturally love reading the British writers. I read them a lot: Dickens, Austen, Brontë (Charlotte), Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, Rowling (of course), etc.
I have also seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol, including Bill Murray's and the goofball play Scrooged. The memory of Jacob Marley dancing, chains and all, to ATC's "Around the World" still makes me laugh. As does the ditzy Ghost of Christmas Present slapping Bill Murray in the face while saying "Sometimes the truth HURTS!"
But... I'd never managed to sit down and read the actual book itself. Maybe because I generally think of it around Christmas, but not until someone else has checked it out from the library.
This year I managed to think of it early. And now I know why it's a classic.
It's just the sweetest, loveliest, most charming little story... ever. Just a simple redemption story of one man's soul. Just a word-picture of the difference life and hope can make to the coldest and bitterest of hearts. And to do Charles Dickens credit, knowing the basic progression and ending of the story didn't spoil it at all for me.
Yes, I do know that the Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scrooge many a merry sight of what Christmas ought to be, not what most people have. But if forever we sentimental fools try to scatter simple, honest happiness wherever we can, no one will be the worse because of it.