A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
This is a must read of English literature and I couldn’t continue my X-mas stories series without mentioning it.
You can read it online.
I hope you like the book and learn more about Christmas.
Read more about Dickens and Christmas here.
—————————— source: http://charlesdickenspage.com/christmas.html
Charles Dickens has probably had more influence on the way that we celebrate Christmas today than any single individual in human history…except One.
At the beginning of the Victorian period the celebration of Christmas was in decline. The medieval Christmas traditions, which combined the celebration of the birth of Christ with the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia (a pagan celebration for the Roman god of agriculture), and the Germanic winter festival of Yule, had come under intense scrutiny by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell. The Industrial Revolution, in full swing in Dickens’ time, allowed workers little time for the celebration of Christmas.
The romantic revival of Christmas traditions that occurred in Victorian times had other contributors: Prince Albert brought the German custom of decorating the Christmas tree to England, the singing of Christmas carols (which had all but disappeared at the turn of the century) began to thrive again, and the first Christmas card appeared in the 1840s. But it was the Christmas stories of Dickens, particularly his 1843 masterpiece A Christmas Carol, that rekindled the joy of Christmas in Britain and America. Today, after more than 160 years, A Christmas Carol continues to be relevant, sending a message that cuts through the materialistic trappings of the season and gets to the heart and soul of the holidays.
Dickens describes the holidays as “a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” This was what Dickens described for the rest of his life as the “Carol Philosophy”.
Dickens’ name had become so synonymous with Christmas that on hearing of his death in 1870 a little costermonger’s girl in London asked, “Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”
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I also invite you to read this article on Charles Dicken’s book.
You can uise the video for your class and even you could try to select an interesting excerpt to discuss in the class.
And if you like cinema, I recommend Christmas Carol – 1984 film.
Although you could prefer 2001 edition, if you finally watch both, try to compare the two films and could prepare some videos for your students to debate about.
Enjoy this activity and don’t forget that Christmas is more than a celebration, it is a feeling!