A Christmas Carol

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Listen to A Christmas Carol

On a cold Christmas Eve in London, Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser, sat in his counting-house with his clerk, Bob Cratchit, working diligently by a small coal fire. Scrooge was a grumpy, greedy man who despised Christmas and all its cheer.

“Merry Christmas, uncle!” greeted Scrooge’s jovial nephew, Fred, entering the office. “Bah, humbug!” Scrooge replied. “Christmas a humbug? You can’t mean that!” Fred exclaimed. But Scrooge was adamant, dismissing the holiday spirit and his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner.

That evening, as Scrooge settled into his gloomy house, the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, appeared. Bound in chains, Marley warned Scrooge of the punishment that awaited him in the afterlife for his greed and selfishness. He foretold the visit of three spirits.

The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, arrived and took Scrooge on a journey through his earlier years. They visited his lonely childhood, the joy of his youth when he was an apprentice under Mr. Fezziwig and the painful moment he chose wealth over love.

Next came the Ghost of Christmas Present. This jolly giant showcased the joy and warmth of the Cratchit family, despite their meager means. The youngest Cratchit, Tiny Tim, with his frail health and ever-present crutch, was especially endearing. “God bless us, everyone!” he exclaimed, filling the room with love. The spirit also showed Scrooge how the rest of London celebrated, revealing the vast contrast between the joyful festivities and Scrooge’s own cold heart.

The final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (or the Ghost of Christmas Future), presented the most harrowing vision. Scrooge saw his own neglected grave, overgrown with weeds, and the sorrow of Tiny Tim’s death. The townsfolk spoke of Scrooge’s death without emotion, highlighting his life’s insignificance.

Returning to his bedroom, Scrooge pleaded for a chance to change his ways. Awakening on Christmas morning, he was overjoyed to find he had been given that very chance. Filled with newfound enthusiasm, he went about making amends.

He sent a massive turkey to the Cratchit household and donated generously to the poor. Embracing the festive spirit, he joined his nephew’s Christmas dinner, laughing and dancing the night away. From that day forth, Scrooge was a changed man. He became a second father to Tiny Tim, who did not die and continued to spread love and kindness.

The tale ends with a reminder of the enduring message of Christmas – the spirit of love, generosity, and redemption. For Scrooge learned that it’s never too late to change and embrace the true meaning of Christmas.

“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!”

Also Read: Bobby the BearThe Story of The Snowman

Follow Up Questions

  • What did Marley wish he had done differently in his life?
  • How is Scrooge’s way of thinking different from Marley’s message?
  • Why do you think Marley was the one to tell Scrooge to be kinder?

Note

“A Christmas Carol” is a novella by Charles Dickens that tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who despises Christmas and all things joyful. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and three spirits representing Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Through their guidance, Scrooge confronts his own bitterness and past mistakes, leading to a heartwarming transformation. By Christmas morning, he emerges as a kinder, more compassionate individual, eager to spread cheer and generosity to those around him.

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