These words are from an 1843 Christmas novella written by Charles Dickens. His Christmas short stories include: “The Chimes”, “Cricket on the Hearth,” “The Battle of Life,” “Haunted Man,” and his most read, “A Christmas Carol”

“A Christmas Carol” was by far the most popular having never been out of print. It’s also been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media.

Dickens divided his novella into five chapters, labeled “staves” or song stanzas or verses, in keeping with the title of the book.

The short tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s strange night visitors continues to send a message that cuts through all the trappings of the season and straight into the heart and soul of the holiday.

Dickens defined Christmas 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 description became known as the “Carol Philosophy” and Dickens strove to live accordingly for the rest of his life.

Charles Dickens has probably had more influence on how we celebrate Christmas than any single individual in human history … except the One whose birth we celebrate.

Wouldn’t honoring Christmas by “opening shut-hearts and thinking of others as fellow sojourners on the same path” be an excellent way to celebrate this holiday season and begin the new year?

~~ This will be our last post for 2023. New blogs will begin again after the holiday season.