Contrary to my initial assumptions, being familiar with the characters and the general plot of the narrative did not detract from the reading at all. Quite the opposite. Knowing the story allowed me to focus on the writing itself and though A Christmas Carol does not perhaps showcase the highest degree of Dickens's literary skills, it contains stylistic flourishes and vivid, colorful descriptions that enchant and delight, to say nothing of the characters all of which have become as iconic as many of Shakespeare's greatest creations.
Unlike the majority of his novels, Dickens's A Christmas Carol is compact and sleek and the mere efficiency with which the narrative achieves its aims is part of its charm. Every scene is meaningful and memorable and the moral message around which the entire story is constructed rings sincere precisely because of its devastating simplicity.
Reading it every year for the past fifteen years has enriched and deepened my appreciation and experience of Christmas and I could not imagine Christmas time without it. If you are among those who have not read A Christmas Carol, you owe it to yourself to turn off the television and set aside a few hours to read this quintessential Christmas classic this holiday season. I hope it will enhance your experience of the holidays the way it has enhanced mine.
The work is available as a free download at many ebook sites including Project Gutenberg.
God bless us, everyone!