So, I like to read A Christmas Carol every year. It is a quick read and very inspiring. I decided to share some of my favorite excerpts from it...
"Man of the worldly mind!" replied the Ghost, "do you believe in me or not?"
"I do," said Scrooge. "I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?"
"It is required of every man," the Ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad his fellow men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world- oh, woe is me!- and witness what it cannot share, and might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!" . . .
"You are fettered," said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me why?"
"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to YOU?"
"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said, "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of my fellow beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted ME!"
"I am a mortal," Scrooge remonstrated, "and liable to fall."
"Bear but a touch of my hand THERE," said the Spirit,laying it upon his heart,"and you shall be upheld in more than this!"
"A small matter," said the Ghost,"to make these silly folks so full of gratitude."
"Small!" echoed Scrooge.
The Spirit signed him to listen to the two apprentices, who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so, said,
"Why! Is it not? He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?"
"It isn't that," said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self.
"It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it costs a fortune."
"And how did little Tim behave?" asked Mrs. Cratchit, when she had rallied Bob on his credulity and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart's content.
"As good as gold," said Bob, "and better.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 the lame beggars walk and blind men see."
"Man," said the Ghost,"if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, and what men shall die? It may be that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!"
Scrooge bent before the Ghost's rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground.
It was a game called Yes and No, where Scrooge's nephew had to think of something, and the rest must find out what; he only answering to their questions yes or no as the case was. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed, elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal, a live animal, rather a disagreeable animal, a savage animal, an animal that growled and grunted sometimes, and talked sometimes, and lived in London, and walked about the streets, and wasn't made a show of, and wasn't led by anybody, and didn't live in a menagerie, and was never killed in a market, and was not a horse, or an ass, or a cow, or a bull, or a tiger, or a dog, or a pig, or a cat, or a bear. At every fresh question that was put to him, this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter; and was so inexpressibly tickled, that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. At last the plump sister, falling into a similar state, cried out:
"I have found it out! I know what it is, Fred! I know what it is!"
"What is it?" cried Fred.
"It's your Uncle Scro-o-o-o-oge!"
Which it certainly was. Admiration was the universal sentiment, though some objected that the reply to "Is it a bear?" ought to have been "Yes;" inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr. Scrooge, supposing they had ever had any tendency that way.
"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, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out his hand toward the city. "Slander those that tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!"
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"
Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!
And so as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Everyone!