A Christmas Carol was published on 19th December 1843. The first edition sold out by Christmas Eve. It is one of the most loved short stories ever written. Like all great literature, you can read it as a psychology paper, a political commentary and a spiritual allegory. Most years, I try to make time to read the novella as well. This usually means staying up late, after the children have fallen asleep, sitting by the decorated tree, fire crackling, with a plate of mince pies. It’s worth it because its prose is full of poetry, song and inspiration.
In the Preface to A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote: “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the “Ghost of an Idea”, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D.” Dickens wants us to meditate on the true purpose of Christmas, and to remember the “Ghost of an Idea”, the real meaning of the holy day.
Charles Dickens was inspired to write A Christmas Carol after he had visited the Field Lane Ragged School, where he met many young, starving, illiterate orphans. The story is full of meditations for Christmas and the holiday season. For example, “What does it feel like to forgive the past?” And, “What is it like to be me when I let go of resentment?” And, “How can I live the spirit of Christmas this year?” And “How can I choose love?”
Read the full reflection by Findhorn Fellow Robert Holden….