A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

It’s Christmas time, and the greedy Mister Scrooge is not feeling the holiday spirit. Three ghosts visit him overnight to change his ways. The Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come teach him the true meaning of Christmas: kindness and love toward others. Mister Scrooge must show love to those around him to save himself from a sad and lonely future.

James Eckhouse reading Christmas Carol many Christmases ago there lived a businessman by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge everyone knew mr. Scrooge but not because he was popular and certainly not because he was generous the name Scrooge became synonymous with greed and selfishness and was often used in place of other words that don't belong in polite conversation Evon eases Scrooge made his fortune in banking partnering with his friend Jacob Marley who was just as stingy as Scrooge together they did everything they could to squeeze every last cent out of everyone around them they lent money to people who needed it but if you were even a minute late in paying it back Marley and Scrooge would take everything you had even the shirt off your back they foreclosed on schools hospitals even orphanages they took money wherever they could get it there was nothing those two liked more than money their hearts were as hard and cold as the gold coins that jangled in their pockets Jacob Marley passed away a few years back and as mr. Scrooge sat alone in his dark office he sometimes thought of Marley but when he did he would try to force all those sad memories out of his head by focusing on his money he stepped out of his office and stood menacingly over his assistant a kind and timid young man named Bob Cratchit Cratchit shouted Scrooge have you finished filing those papers yet Oh almost mr. Scrooge he said Cratchit sat at a little desk his teeth chattering as he shivered in the cold of the London winter it's just he added I I think I could go a bit faster if it was a little warmer in here while mr. Scrooge's office had a big roaring fire the only thing to keep Cratchit warm was a tiny cold hitter Cole doesn't grow on trees Cratchit said Scrooge I'm not paying for you to get comfy if you put another piece of coal in that heater it's coming out of your pay yes yes sir of course sir sit corrected I'm I'm sure I can get this fighting done by next week I imagine you can since you seem to have been lazing about here you'll have to come in tomorrow but this is Scrooge tomorrow is Christmas I need to be with my family especially Tiny Tim I don't know how many more Christmases he'll be around for that's very touching mr. Cratchit Scrooge said dryly all right you've swayed my heart you can have a half day tomorrow but I'll expect you to work through New Year's bless you mr. Scrooge cut it said reaching for his coat on his way out have yourself a merry Christmas Christmas sick Scrooge bah humbug with that he shut the door on mr. Cratchit and went back to his office he sat at his desk looking over papers with the frown he always wore when he heard a strange noise something jingling and rattling at first he thought it was a set of sleigh bells from the street but when he heard it again it was definitely coming from upstairs where he lived slowly he crept through the halls peaking cautiously into empty rooms but just as he decided he was going mad he heard moaning coming from the stairway behind him Scrooge's face turned white as white as the all-too-familiar figure he saw hovering over the stairs watching him with large sad eyes it was Jacob Marley in the flesh well sort of he looked very much like Scrooge remembered him except that he was transparent and dragged if he changed from his arms and legs is it really you Marley a Scrooge happenes a Scrooge the ghost bellowed I have come to give you a grave warning you must change your wicked ways or you will wind up cursed like I am you see I forged these chains through a lifetime of greed and heartlessness and I know you well old friend I am sure your chains will be heavier that is why tonight you will be visited by three spirits who will try to open your heart if they cannot teach you you will be doomed to walk the earth in chains like me the ghost vanished before Scrooge could ask another question now looking around the deserted stairway he saw no sign of the ghost no proof that it had ever really happened at all huh perhaps I was just seeing things he thought he decided he just needed to get some sleep so he retired to his bedroom and crawled into bed he had not been asleep for long when his window opened by itself and a cold winter wind he shivered and got out of bed to close it when he turned around he saw a beautiful woman standing in front of him wearing a long dress of blue light hi and the ghost of Christmas past Christmas bah humbug if this is some sort of charity you can just forget it you won't get any money from me I'm not here for your money Abin isn't she said voiced soft reassuring I've come to rekindle your love of Christmas I hate Christmas it's nothing but an excuse for lazy people to get out of work that's what you say but that wasn't always the case let me show you something she led him to the window a window had screwed it looked out many times before this time however the view was different he recognized it at once he was looking into the house where he grew up it was early on a winter morning and there was a little boy opening a Christmas present with a smile on his face as big as all outdoors there was so much joy in the boys face so much purity and love the ghost of Christmas past walked up next to the awestruck Scrooge and quietly asked him happened to that boy Scrooge didn't answer he knew that the little boy was himself but he honestly couldn't remember how I came to be who he was you have fallen a long way a boneses at the spirit Scrooge seemed to regain ahold of himself well times change people change he said defensively but some people change like food left out for too long they go bad she disappeared leaving screwed alone with his thoughts he tried to go back to sleep but he remembered what Marley said about three spirits the thought of another ghostly visitor kept him awake with fright tossing and turning he thought he heard a noise it was a loud thump and it came from the kitchen he snuck through the dark hallways and peeped in someone hungry and with no sense of taste laid out were bread fish cheese pickles and half of a pumpkin pie Scrooge wondered who could eat like this and as the refrigerator door closed he wished he hadn't because there stood the giant of a man rounded and rosy huh are you a ghost to a Scrooge yes replied the ghost with his mouth full of pumpkin fish pie sandwich we swallowed and then continued I am the ghost of Christmas present are you going to show me more visions well I did come all this way oh look at the time we really must be off and there's something important you need to see said the spirit he grabbed screwed by the wrist and the whole kitchen vanished now they were in another house a much smaller one in the family's dining room which in a house with so few rooms served as playroom lounge and study bob cratchit sat at the head of the dinner table and led the family and prayer lord thank you for the glorious banquet you've provided us on this Christmas Eve what banquet is it behind that turkey that's the size of a pigeon ostrich no that is the banquet replied the ghost of Christmas present that's the biggest bird they could afford but yet they seem so happy Scrooge wondered please look after our family especially Tiny Tim who needs your miracles the most Scrooge remembered Cratchit mentioning the name before but he had never really paid attention but now she carefully observed the boy he was small and thin underweight in fact and he carried a tiny wooden crutch because he could no longer walk well he looked very sick his eyes shone bright Cratchit continued also please bless mr. Scrooge and let him have a Merry Christmas his wife's face turned red when she heard this are you really going to pray for that old tightwad she demanded I've never met such a despicable human being if he paid you as much as he should we could move out of this tiny house we caught she looked at Tiny Tim for a moment and she began to cry Cratchit held her hand and said honey we have a roof over our head and we have each other we should be thankful for what we already have though he would never have admitted it screwed his eyes began to water to tell me spirit what will become of Tiny Tim will he get better if nothing changes said the spirit sadly I see an empty chair at a tiny crutch without owner scoot grabbed the ghost and shook him that you can't be right big right well he's just a little boy the ghost faded away and he was left alone with his kitchen he sat in his study and waited he knew the final ghosts would be with him sooner every minute that ticked by on the grandfather's clock was worse than the one before it though all the windows were closed the cold wind blew and out of the shadows walked a dark cloaked figure looked like the Grim Reaper himself and with a single boney and he gestured for Scrooge to follow him walking down the hall Scrooge suddenly found himself at a Funeral but nobody was there except for the man in the coffin and a very bored priest who kept looking at his watch what sort of man can die and have no one come to his funeral Scrooge as nervously doesn't anyone miss him doesn't anyone love him but the ghost said nothing he just kept walking out in the cold snowy night screwed followed behind him and soon they were in the town square Scrooge overheard two women having a conversation sure the old bed finally croaked kiddie a friend opened her purse revealing a pair of men's leather shoes are these all for him before the doctors took him away I think it's the first gift he's ever given the other squealed and the both women laughed did you hear that Scrooge asked the spirit they must have really hated that man to steal from the dead but again the spirit did not answer he just kept walking through the freshly fallen snow until they came to a vast opening on the side of the town in the dim light Scrooge could make out the outline of headstones a graveyard Scrooge asked why have you taken me here a ghost tweeted out into the distance Scrooge tried to follow where he was pointing but it only led out into a sea of graves nervously he worked his way through the headstones occasionally looking back at the ghost some sign but receiving none as he looked back to his shoulder he tripped on a tree root he fell face-first into the dirt as he looked up he saw an old grave that had been untended and overgrown with ivy as he clawed it off he read here lies at the knees as Scrooge he expected it to say something about his life but it didn't nobody in town could think of anything nice to say about him the empty funeral and the vicious things those women were saying Scrooge recalled they were all about me he leaned his head on the cold stone and began to cry spirit this can't be my future I want more than to be hated and forgotten he sobbed suddenly he had an idea please wait why would you show me things if I were unable to change them no I understand now I can change spirit you'll see I will be kind and generous from now on as Scrooge jumped up he found himself back in his bed it was morning at first his mind was blank as he yawned and scratched his head but then he remembered his night he ran to the window and shouted out to a boy on the street you boy what day is it today why it's Christmas Day sir he replied oh then I'm not too late he said toss him a small bag of money to the boy take this money buy the biggest goose you can and deliver it to the cratchits keep the change for your troubles now I have some shopping to do he said a little while later there was a knock on the cratchits door Bob Cratchit opened it and was promptly knocked over by the line of people marching into his dining room carrying plump meats vegetables and puddings someone offered Bob a hen from behind a load of wrapped Christmas presents and he was shocked to see that it was his boss mr. Scrooge I was just about to leave for work right now sit Bob nervously work well it's Christmas isn't it said Scrooge well yes but but yesterday you said boss said Scrooge you've always worked so hard you deserve a vacation why don't you come back to work after New Year's I didn't know what to say just be in the office by 9 o'clock sharp Scrooge added the hint of his old mean self after all my new partner shouldn't be late oh thank you mr. Scrooge proclaimed Cratchit cratchits wife and Tiny Tim both came over to give Scrooge a hug together they all enjoyed a great and merry feast even heaven Iza Scrooge found that his gave him great joy to share his wealth and he was never mean cheap or greedy again the end you

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