Even Charles Dickens, who wrote many books , 20 to be precise, can have periods when he cannot think of a plot and when his recent books are not getting the attention he got after writing The Pickwick Papers in serial form.
Nowadays Dicken’s book A Christmas Carol is everywhere, as it was after its immediate publication shortly before Christmas in 1843. But it was rough, going. The Man Who Invented Christmas, “based on the inspiring true story.” as noted in the publicity of the 2017 movie, gives us a view of a young man who was desperate to meet a deadline for his book, come to terms with his father who was so profligate with money that a very young Charles was sent off to slave in a grim blacking factory when his family was sent off to debtors prison. He and wrote a novel that continues to enchant us – and maybe teach us about the important things that give us love and joy.
When we turned on our television a few days ago we did not know what we were getting, but I recommend this movie as a Christmas treat as we endure the pandemic. And maybe some of us will read the book aloud. Maybe some of us will read more books by Dickens. The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In was written earlier, but after he wrote A Christmas Carol he wrote other Christmas stories. The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairytale of Home was published shortly before Christmas in 1845. The Battle of Life: A Love Story, published in 1846, did not gain the same popularity. The The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, A Fancy for Christmas-Time is the final Christmas book, and is not as much about the Christmas activities as about the spirit of the holiday.
So ended his run of Christmas books, but it was The Christmas Carol that changed Christmas for us all. Now, as Tiny Tim said, I wish us all “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”