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How To Get Rid The Bah Humbug!

abstract:Having trouble getting into the spirit of Christmas, or the more politically correct holiday spirit? Then get yee down to the nearest reading of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol and feel the "bah humbug" rattle right out of you. Ours happened at the local library with a bevy of readers lined up in their Sunday best to recite one of each of the five staves in their turn with all the flourish and sentiment they could muster. Interspersed were the voices of the children's choir singing carols and the crowd invited to join alternating songs using our best tenor voices held warbly-up to the too-high register of the children. Rather like church without the pews, we instead silently offered up our intentions to the snow god to bless our mountains so we could all get on with business-as-usual skiing and boarding in the winter wonderland. (This is Whistler, after all.) But more than anything, it is the comfort of the familiar words from the Dickens classic that thawed my icy exterior. Below are some of my favorite lines from the story, and a link to the full text online. Why not gather your family beside the fireplace amidst yuletide cheer and glogg, and do a reading together? (Full Text Online) Learn about BookBuffet's upcoming collaboration with WGBH Boston who is producing four Dickens productions for Masterpiece [Theatre] starting Feb 2009.


December 14, 2008
Every year—never fail—our family gathers around the television on Christmas eve to watch an ancient copy of the earliest film version of "A Christmas Carol" starring Alister Sims. In my mind it is the embodiment of the holiday. Like the public reading above (if you can find one) it serves to lift one's spirits and place them in the proper alignment with mankind. Regardless of what you do all year, how much you give to charities, the time you spend volunteering for your own favorite causes, there is something uplifting about the story which crosses all idealogical barriers and penetrates the heart.

Favorite "A Christmas Carol" Lines


"Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

"At this festive season of the year it is more than customary to make some provision for the Poor and Destitute who suffer greatly at this time of year."

"Man of the worldly mind, do you believe in me?"

"You will be haunted by three spirits."


"Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see'."


They are Man's,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy."


We're not going to pick holes in each other's coats, I suppose.'
'No, indeed.' said Mrs Dilber and the man together. 'We should hope not.'
'Very well, then.' cried the woman. 'That's enough. Who's the worse for the loss of a few things like these. Not a dead man, I suppose.'

Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,' said Scrooge, 'answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only.'


'It's Christmas Day.' said Scrooge to himself. 'I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can.

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.

Creating Your Family Traditions

Our family has a leather-bound edition of "A Christmas Carol" with a ribbon marker and we read a stave together as we gather together at the end of our busy days in the week leading up to December 25th. If you are a collector, the place to get a special edition is Alibrus and Powell's store. Below are some links to various versions of the story.

A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color) the DVD

Department 56 Dickens Village Scrooge/Marley Counting House to decorate your mantle or window sill.

Classic Crafts and Recipes for the Holidays: Christmas with Martha Stewart Living Ok, give in to the woman who knitted a sweater for her cell mate while doing time for insider trading - demonstrating true conviction to her renewed connection with people in all strata of life, and not just the Stetford Wives who made her fortune.

Extend Your Dickens Repertoire With WGBH Feb-May 2009

The public television station WGBH Boston is featuring four Dickens novels in their stunning Masterpiece series beginning this February 2009. Find out how you can become a member of the Book to Film Club and listen to upcoming podcasts with the executive producer right here at How do the people at Masterpiece acquire their projects? What is involved in the process of adapting a classic novel into a multi-part television production? Who will be cast in the roles? Become a member and win a copy of the Masterpiece DVDs and companion Penguin editions of the four adapted novels.



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