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A Christmas Carol > Christmas Carol, Stave 1

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message 1: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Honourable Members of the Pickwick Club!

We are now reading the probably most famous Christmas story in the world, and, being of a Pickwickian disposition, we should do it in an orderly way. Therefore I am opening the thread on Stave 1 today, suggesting - as usual - different questions you might be wanting to comment on. Again, as usual, they are to be understood as mere suggestions, their aim being to ignite animated discussions and a lively exchange of ideas.

1) What do you think about the narrator's voice, especially in comparison with the narrators we already know from PP, OT, NN and TOCS?

2) What do you think about Ebenezer Scooge? I mean he is a nasty old fellow, no doubt - but what about a) his intrepid behaviour when he entered his house despite the incident with the doorknob and the bells; and b) his way of talking to Marley's Ghost?

3) In more general terms, what is your impression about how Dickens draws his characters here?

4) Would you share my impression that at times the narrative becomes a bit preachy?

5) Share some favourite quotations if you like.

I sincerely hope this group read is going to make Christmas and the time we'll have to spend waiting for it an even pleasanter experience than usual.


message 2: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy As to favourite quotations, being a fan of puns, I especially like the way Scrooge voices his scepticism
as to the existence of the ghost:

“Why do you doubt your senses?”

“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”



message 3: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2034 comments Joy wrote: "Scrooge is absolutely mean. I mean HOW cold was it and he wouldn't give Bob Cratchitt a piece of coal."

Why should he? Cratchitt works for him, he pays Cratchitt a wage, it's up to Cratchitt to spend that wisely and not waste it foolishly so he can't afford coal. If employers went around giving their employees more than the had agreed to work for, they would soon enough be out of business and there Cratchitt would be out on the street with no job at all. It's kindness for Scrooge to keep his money to pay next month's wages rather than giving it away now and not having it when Cratchitt will need it in future.

(There, Kim, was that grumpy enough?? [g])


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments I don't think Scrooge is that mean. I never did. I think he is stingy and has NO empathy. But he's has no real malice. He's not quilp , with designs to Hurt someone. Or even take advantage.

He's a shrewd business man who lost site of humanities. He's lost. There is an element of humor in him. He wants to be left alone. He's isolated himself and just doesn't get people anymore.

Even as a child. I felt that if some one would tickle him... As a kid I felt that no one could help laughing when tickled!! Instant mood reset. Lol. He is wrong not to listen to and support his community etc. and bob .... Should punch stooge in the nose and quit! but Scrooge just thinks his earned money is his and they can get their own like he did . He's not giving but he's not stealing.

I have never been afraid of anything or believed images in stories were real. Ever. So I have always concentrated on the mission of Marley and his cohorts. It has always impressed me that Scrooge was not scared , not really. I read it excited to go on the journey. The story has always reminded me of Peter Pan. There's a thrill and I can sense that Scrooge feels special. The beginning of his transformation.


My problem with Scrooge has always been his self denial. That is frustrating for me you ruins your life , won't help others, won't live well yourself, won't give value to bob who helps make the $ and he has no one he intends to leave it to. He's soooo lost.

And his nephews unconditional love for him is touching. I love him back for Scrooge!


message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate I agree with Christine. I think you have to judge a person's level of severity against their duty towards loved ones. Scrooge, although a complete miser, is only hurting himself in the end. He has no wife or children. He's nowhere near as bad as Grandpa in TOCS who is selfish and deceitful with no regard for Nell's best interests. All done under guise of finding her fortune. He is seriously misguided.


message 6: by Helmut (last edited Nov 29, 2013 12:04AM) (new)

Helmut (schlimmerdurst) | 6 comments My favorite quote from Stave I has already been added to GR's quote database:
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6079...

I can't help it, I always see Scrooge McDuck and Mickey Mouse in this story... Disney invaded our minds.
http://tikiloungetalk.com/wp-content/...


message 7: by Helmut (new)

Helmut (schlimmerdurst) | 6 comments I really like the part where Scrooge asks Marley's Ghost to sit down, just to check whether he's able to. That is a really inquisitive mind, I found that impressive. Also the question whether the ghost can see the toothpick - though Scrooge just wants the Ghost to look away from him, there's also the question behind that whether it's physically possible to "see" something with transparent eyes. I think I somewhere read an article by a physiologist who stated ghosts could not see humans, because transparent eyes can't work.

All that leads me to the conclusion: Scrooge is a sceptic Dawkins could be proud of, and an extreme materialist.


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Well, Helmut, 'ologist or no 'ologist. All ghost speculation hinges on the George Costanza (Seinfeld) theory " its not a lie if you believe it ". LOL.

I see a business mind at work. As an american I think I see american ingenuity in his character. He doesn't see any problem. He studies his situation looking for a solution. And as a business man ,a good one I might add, he leaves his options wide open . escape may be one. A circus may be another ( P T Barnum didn't think people with deformities had problems. The had solutions .the best kind. Cash!) . His subconscious is always looking for a profit venture. Plow forth with a vengeance. Curiosity conquers fear. Very american spirit.

since Marley's death scrooge seems to have only business dealings with humans. He doesn't have any personal interaction with anyone. As he has no need to. He's the Beatles NOWHERE MAN . now, after all this time the one person he's comfortable with comes and opens him up. There's a flood of emotion simmering from this point. When the ghosts come ,they are for and about him . given to him by his only friend. Scrooge, to me begins to become child like here. Cared for more than scared. Its like ,metaphorically , Marley has given scrooge Christmas gifts and Scrooge has accepted them. Only he doesn't know it yet.


message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments LOL! Extreme materialist!!!! Sooooooo american. Its black Friday here. Largest shopping day of the year. You may have to wait in line for a parking space ( but you can get a 50" TV for $250.00).


For what its worth Americans are , for the most part , materialistic and I highly recommend it. ( yes I am a stereotype) Lol.


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments I retread the part were Scrooge is approached by the two gentalman collecting money to feed the poor Christmas dinner.

This too seems american to me. In England at that time things was hard. There was still a hard class division. A lot of inherited ownership and entitlement. The poor didn't have education or opportunity. Many jobs were so health prohibitive that .... So on.

Scrooge though , states that the poor need to get their own or embrace their chosen lifestyle. Mystery to him why their in a pickle! He supports the work houses and jails. That's how he helps them. The way he makes his point seems flippant and american.

In America at the same time . An individual could rise from any level. Classes were the rich , the poor and a new middle class. Entitlement not needed. No " name" needed. A self made American was viewed as miserly as you had to store your nuts to get there.

Hmmmmmmm.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim Helmut wrote: "My favorite quote from Stave I has already been added to GR's quote database:
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6079...

I can't help it, I always see Scroog..."


Oh, I can picture it too! Scrooge with that oh so annoying duck voice! I haven't seen that in awhile I wonder if it will be on again this year. Thinking of the Disney one brings to mind the muppets one too. :-}


message 12: by Kim (new)

Kim I see I'm going to have a hard time discussing this book . I love this book, it is the only book besides the bible I've read at least 40 times and I plan to read it at least 40 more times. There is nothing about this book that I don't love and I am not going to have anything even remotely bad to say about it!

I will also be frowning whenever someone else does, sometimes grumpy people don't seem to appreciate the book as much as I do. (You know who you are).

When I was little I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I had seizures and headaches. Still do, except now my mother isn't around to panic and call an ambulance. So I'd be in there while they would watch me for more seizures (which of course I never had until I got back home). Anyway, seizures don't hurt until you wake up, and now I just deal with it, but when I was 8 or 9, it was just awful, then I would talk to Jesus. After a few days I felt better and was bored out of my mind, then I read A Christmas Carol. It made life better. Christmas makes life better. I used to lay there thinking only ____more days until Christmas. Still do. I will be reading A Christmas Carol in heaven too. Heck, it's making me cry thinking of those days. :-}

Oh, grumpy people, I still love you. :-}


message 13: by Kim (new)

Kim


message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim I have about eight books with A Christmas Carol in it, either on it's own or as part of Dickens Christmas stories, and none with the illustrations.:-{




message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim Favorite quotes? Ok, here's the first one, but be prepared to practically read the book twice. :-}


I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.


Me too.


message 17: by Kim (new)

Kim These next lines always made me smile, even when I didn't know what the words ironmongery or simile meant:

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.


message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim This next part is probably my favorite words ever written by man. I have spent much time trying to convince people around me of the same thing:

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew. "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- 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 people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

When I read this paragraph 30 years ago I cried now reading it I am crying again. This will never change. When I sit in the mall at Christmas for the sole reason of watching the people, I think of this. It is the only time of the year when all the people in the stores are buying gifts for other people not for themselves. Every single person there is thinking of others. Maybe this isn't quite true, but don't tell me if it isn't, it's why I go to the mall at Christmas. Because it is "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 people..."


message 19: by Kim (new)

Kim When I read the part where the two gentlemen come to Scrooge collection money for the poor and destitute it brings to mind two things:

First, whenever we go out to stores, fast food places, etc. especially at this time of the year we are asked to donate to some charity for something. I always do give them something, but then the next time, perhaps even on the way out or the next day I am asked again, and I tell them I already gave, but I feel guilty for not giving again. Does this happen to anyone else? I also am inclined if I see a person with a sign that they are homeless and need money for food to give them money, just a few dollars, but I've often been told I shouldn't do that at all. Can't help myself though.

The second thing is, these two gentlemen are collecting money to do something "At this festive season of the year"....well why in the world didn't they collect a few weeks ago so the poor and destitute would have a nice Christmas day?


message 20: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Yes I have exactly the same


message 21: by Pip (new)

Pip | 78 comments Although I know this story through and through (I think I had an easy reader as a small child which used to scare me to death, along with the Canterville Ghost) I think this might be my first ever reading of Dickens' original words.

One thing which has struck me forcibly is the hard, grey cold throughout the first scenes. Not a drop of snow, nothing jolly and crispy-coldy (so far anyway) - just cold, hard, unyielding, hard cold. If yet another film version were to be made of this novel, I would like to see this desolate chill better represented as I feel Dickens intended it to mirror his protagonist' heart.


message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Exactly the same experience. I want to do good but they swoop on you. Have something everywhere. 1$ for cancer. 1$ for hunger.

I tell them going in that I don't have cash. Then give on the way out.


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Exactly the same experience. I want to do good but they swoop on you. Have something everywhere. 1$ for cancer. 1$ for hunger.


message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim Pip wrote: "Although I know this story through and through (I think I had an easy reader as a small child which used to scare me to death, along with the Canterville Ghost) I think this might be my first ever ..."

I'm pretty sure that the version I was reading when I was 8, 9, 10 years old etc. was an easy reader version. I certainly would NOT have understood Dickens as he originally wrote it back then. Knowing me it took me to into my 20s to understand Dickens as he wrote. :-}


message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit's nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose.

Now reading this I of course must look up who Saint Dunstan is and what he did to the Evil Spirit, this is what I can find.

Born of a noble family at Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury, England, Dunstan was educated there by Irish monks and while still a youth, was sent to the court of King Athelstan. He became a Benedictine monk about 934. Against the old church of St. Mary he built a little cell only five feet long and two and a half feet deep, where he studied and worked at his handicrafts and played on has harp. Here the devil is said (in a late eleventh legend) to have tempted him and to have been seized by the face with the saint's tongs.

"One day when he was at work, the devil looked in at the little window, and tried to tempt him to lead a life of idle pleasure; whereupon, having his pincers in the fire, red hot, he seized the devil by the nose, and put him to such pain, that his bellowings were heard for miles and miles."

When he died in 988 Dunstan was buried in his cathedral, where his tomb was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. Until Thomas a Becket later eclipsed Dunstan's fame he was the most popular English saint.

Dunstan is a patron saint of Metalworkers, Armourers, Gunsmiths, Goldsmiths, Silversmiths and jewelers.




message 26: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Pip wrote: "Although I know this story through and through (I think I had an easy reader as a small child which used to scare me to death, along with the Canterville Ghost) I think this might be my first ever ..."

There's a lot to be said in favour of your interpretation because the environment of a character and the weather often mirror his inner self in Dickens. Just think of the famous beginning of Bleak House, or of how Arthur Gride's house is described in Nicholas Nickleby. What I find most striking about that Christmas Eve in CC is that "it had not been light all day".

This must really be a hint at Scrooge's blindness to the world around him.


message 27: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Helmut wrote: "My favorite quote from Stave I has already been added to GR's quote database:
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6079...

I can't help it, I always see Scroog..."


As far as I'm concerned the Disney version is not as vivid with me as the Muppets version - so I have a mental picture of Sir Michael Caine somehow.

Alas! TV distorts our imagination ...


message 28: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Helmut wrote: "I really like the part where Scrooge asks Marley's Ghost to sit down, just to check whether he's able to. That is a really inquisitive mind, I found that impressive. Also the question whether the g..."

Actually I really like this streak in Scrooge's character, this attitude of rational scepticism. Granted - it might have contributed to making Scrooge the mean-spirited miser he is but in general it helps people explore the world and not fall prey to all sorts of superstition.

He is also quite business-minded when he suggests that the ghosts should visit him all at once, which would save some time and enable him to have it over at once. You can see that his hard-nosed no-nonsense attitude must sit very deeply within him for him to be able to bargain with a ghost.

Although Scrooge is a negative character up to now, I think that Dickens must have liked this sceptic mindset because I once read a ghost story, which I would attribute to Dickens - although I'm not sure -, in which a ghost was haunting an apartment because he had led a life of dire misery there. In the course of a conversation the ghost had with the present lodger, the lodger learnt that ghosts can materialize wherever they want to, and then he ventured to point out that in the light of this information he did not know why the ghost had not rather choose a merrier location. Upon this the ghost started to think it over, disappeared and never was seen again in that flat.

Yes, if you just use your common sense, many problems can be solved quite easily.


message 29: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit's nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose.

Now ..."


As usual you overwhelm me with all the interesting background information you dig up, Kim.

Of course, I doubt not a word about the story of St. Dunstan and the Tempter. However, as far as I know the Tempter must be used to extremely high temperatures - considering the conditions in which he normally resides -, and so I cannot see why the hot pincers around his nose might have put him out at all. Probably they do that sort of thing by way of casual greeting in Hell ;-)


message 30: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "I see I'm going to have a hard time discussing this book . I love this book, it is the only book besides the bible I've read at least 40 times and I plan to read it at least 40 more times. There ..."

For once I will second you without any qualifications whatsoever because this book is something absolutely special. So whenever I tend to criticize something about CC, my words are to be understood in the Pickwickian sense exclusively!


message 31: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy You are right, Kim, in saying that for children Dickens's story is not easy to understand. This is due to the language but also, I think, to the fact that it might be difficult for children to understand that Scrooge is not actually really in the places he visits. I noticed that my son had difficulty understanding this when yesterday I told him about the visit by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I mean there was Tiny Tim dead, but still there was a chance of none of this ever happening if only Scrooge would find it in himself to improve.

It was fun, though, talking all this over with my son afterwards.


message 32: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy I especially like this little bit:

"The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas Eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's buff."

This shows that Bob Cratchit, unlike Scrooge, still has something boyish in himself and that he must be a wonderful and loving father.

As far as I'm concerned, one of the big advantages of having children, especially boys, is that this gives you an alibi for doing all sorts of things that you'd like to do anyway - but that people would look askance at you for if you did them all by yourself. Which doesn't mean to say that you shouldn't do them by yourself if you feel so inclined.


message 33: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Tristram wrote: "Helmut wrote: "I really like the part where Scrooge asks Marley's Ghost to sit down, just to check whether he's able to. That is a really inquisitive mind, I found that impressive. Also the questio..."


I love Scrooge's spirit. He's such a great business man . he tries rearrange Marley's routine so he can be more efficient! He's more concerned with Marley's suffering nor his impending own. He's only concerned about time and distance equations.

I've never been scared in the least by this story. I've always found the ghosts magical. Ominous ,yes. but I'd be too curious not to go

Most,if not all (sans death) problems can be solved. My personal credo is " there are no problems,only solutions" .

The ghost of Christmas present makes me soooooooo hungry and the description seems never ending!!! Mmmmmmm


message 34: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit's nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty pu..."

True that!!!!!


message 35: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments I love kids and young people! They do keep the spirit fresh. Its my personal intention never to give things up but add on. And yes, often if a child companion is not there.... Well,the village idiot stands alone. Without my granddaughter I wouldn't be skipping across any parking lots!!!!!


message 36: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Kim wrote: "If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit's nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose.

Now ..."

Great story!!! Love the picture! 2 1\2 feet was ALOT bigger then!!!
One sad thing about modern times is the inability to pass down a really good story. You just can't start a legend and have it properly twisted up! We are handed down these great stories. And we offer the future the truth. BLAH !


message 37: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Very cool story, Kim.


message 38: by Peter (new)

Peter All these comments are wonderful. ACC truly touches all of us, each in its own way. Like many of you I am especially impressed by Dickens' phrasing, and too often forget how many of the phrases from this book have settled in our vocabulary.

"Dead as a door nail," and the great beginning "Marley was dead to begin with" which rivals, to me at least, with "It was the best of times ...," as the best Dickens opening.

The truth of "I wear the chain I forged in life" is sometimes painfully close to the bone, is it not?

And for the record, Alistair Sim rules.

If anyone is looking for a Christmas present to buy yourself, or give as a hint to Santa, may I suggest Fifth Business by Robertson Davies. The main character's name is Dunstan Ramsay, and there are lots of references to St. Dunstan woven throughout the book. Robertson Davies was a great follower of Karl Jung, so if you enjoy books written from a Jungian point of view ...


message 39: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Peter , you are SOOOOOO right. This story has a lot to do with shaping my life, I assure you.

Like oat people in this world today. I don't remember a time when I didn't know who stooge was. The lessons in the story were as effective as Sunday school.

The happy nephew, the suffering with a smile tiny Tim, Scrooge reforming in the nik of time....

I am who I am today largely because of ACC . I love life. Never want to leave. In the new Scrooge way!


message 40: by Mary Ellen (new)

Mary Ellen (raven51) This story never frightened me either, even as a child. As a kid I always thought it was cool the way the ghost appeared in all different ways. I did, however, always feel sorry for Scrooge. He had so many people around him that cared about him, but he was so shut off with his money and business he seemed to not be able to feel anymore. I always thought how much better of a life the poorer people around him had, with their families and the things they enjoyed. Scrooge seemed so dead already.
The only thing I disagree with, Christine, is the comment about tickling. I absolutely HATE to be tickled. It makes me angry! lol


message 41: by Christine (new)

Christine | 330 comments Mary Ellen. Now that I am grown up I do think that , like you, Scrooge would be really angry!!! Tickling aside. He'd be like" ahhhhh! Get your filthy rotten child off of me!! " He'd feel like a bio -Hazzard all day!!!

Like Kim had commented. I too am new at this. It's the first time I have read and reread and studied a book. Even when I read books for school we reviewed , it wasn't a discussion. I am continually enlightened.

This story is with me in how I live all year , all my life. I never realized it.

I have a very small wooden ladder back chair with a woven sizzle seat. About 2 feet heigh. It is from my grand parents house. My grandmom always brought it out at Christmas. Put it next to the fireplace with a cane. It is "tiny Tim's chair". She loved tiny Tim and always referenced him when talking about helping people. . My first understanding of charity and making sympathetic connections ... was through tiny Tim.

I really think I am always positive and love life so much because I learn my lesson. Early. Through Scrooge.


message 42: by Kim (new)

Kim Pip wrote: "One thing which has struck me forcibly is the hard, grey cold throughout the first scenes. Not a drop of snow, nothing jolly and crispy-coldy (so far anyway) - just cold, hard, unyielding, hard cold"

I love the description of the weather in this first scene of ACC.

It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already -- it had not been light all day..."

It just sounds so bleak and cold and dark, three things I just love! I don't like the sun, it gives me terrible migraines, so I love the dark, heat reacts with some of my medications and makes me faint, so I love cold, I could stay in Dickens weather all the time! :-}

Besides, the longer it is dark the longer I can have all my Christmas lights on. Life is better with Christmas lights on. :-}


message 43: by Kim (new)

Kim Tristram wrote: "I once read a ghost story, which I would attribute to Dickens - although I'm not sure -, in which a ghost was haunting an apartment because he had led a life of dire misery there. "

This story sounds so awesome, I just have to find it! Now that all my guests are gone for awhile I'm going to have to start trying to find this story. No new guests for a few days at least. :-}


message 44: by Kim (new)

Kim Tristram wrote: "As far as I'm concerned, one of the big advantages of having children, especially boys, is that this gives you an alibi for doing all sorts of things that you'd like to do anyway"

Hmm, so that's one of the advantages of having children... I'll have to tell mine someone finally thought of a good reason to have kids. :-} I tell them now I should have skipped the kids altogether and just stuck to raising cocker spaniels, dogs are so much easier to get along with! (yes they know I'm kidding, sort of). The only problem with my cocker spaniel is she loves getting the people out of my Christmas villages and biting their heads off!! At least the kids never did that.


message 45: by Kim (new)

Kim Christine wrote: "Great story!!! Love the picture! 2 1\2 feet was ALOT bigger then!!!"

Thanks Christine. Just think of it though, living in a room 2 1/2 feet wide, it would be like living in an MRI tube!


message 46: by Kim (new)

Kim Tristram wrote: "However, as far as I know the Tempter must be used to extremely high temperatures - considering the conditions in which he normally resides -,"

Very true Tristram. This is one of my main arguments for heaven being cold and snowy , that hell is hot and fiery so heaven would be the opposite. So why would the hot tongs bother the devil's nose? Hmm, I'll have to ponder this for awhile.


message 47: by Kim (new)

Kim "...saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change -- not a knocker, but Marley's face.

Marley's face.
It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.


Why would a bad lobster be in a dark cellar?


message 48: by Kim (new)

Kim Christine wrote: "Peter , you are SOOOOOO right. This story has a lot to do with shaping my life, I assure you.

Like oat people in this world today. I don't remember a time when I didn't know who stooge was. The l..."


This story also had a lot to do with shaping my life, it still does. I often sit and ponder the line Peter highlighted, "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. I am wearing the chain I am forging in my life, and I find at times I don't much like the chain. I tend to get caught up in my problems and pay no attention to the others around me. Then I have to step back and take a look at Marley's "life" or I guess his death. When I find myself scheduled for a biopsy, yes another one, and blood work, and an EKG, and realize I'm sitting on the chair thinking of nothing but my problems than I think of lines like,

"The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business."

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of 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!"



message 49: by Mary Ellen (new)

Mary Ellen (raven51) Christine wrote: "My grandmom always brought it out at Christmas. Put it next to the fireplace with a cane. It is "tiny Tim's chair".
What a wonderful idea! Your grandmom sounds like a very loving woman. How special that you now have the chair. Beautiful memories.


message 50: by Peter (new)

Peter Christine wrote: "Mary Ellen. Now that I am grown up I do think that , like you, Scrooge would be really angry!!! Tickling aside. He'd be like" ahhhhh! Get your filthy rotten child off of me!! " He'd feel like a b..."

A chair by the fireplace. How simple, how elegant, how moving. Our memories are like poets, and that image is perfect. Thanks for sharing it this Christmas season.


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