Christmas Time! (from 'A Christmas Dinner' )
All his life Dickens loved Christmas. As a young man he hosted parties like those found at Dingley Dell or at Mr Fezziwig's Ball. He loved to organise riotous games and show off his very impressive magic tricks - including a sensational one involving a flaming Christmas pudding. On the Twelfth Night he wrote sketches for family members to perform, often taking the lead roles himself.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! (Fred explaining his attitude to Christmas to his Uncle Scrooge)
Many have speculated that Christmas represented everything Dickens aspired to as a troubled, insecure child: family, fun, festivity, tradition, security and order. And according Claire Tomalin's biography (Charles Dickens: A Life) he never gave up on the festival even in the latter, darker period in his life when he could no longer share it with those closest to him.
The restorative power of Christmas is a reccurent thee in Dickens work. It is there in the Boz Sketch, A Christmas Dinner and in his final unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It also plays a key role in perhaps his greatest novel, Great Expectation.
But it was his first novel 'The Pickwick Papers' (1836) and his most popular story 'A Christmas Carol' that Dickens in effect created the template for the modern Christmas - see here
More on A Christmas Carol
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