Although this is among Dickens' best known works this is the first time I have read the book (although I think I have seen at least two film versions as a kid, one of them being the Muppet version) I have enjoyed his works since I studied Hard Times as one of my A-level texts and have got a few more of his books waiting to be read. I was hoping reading this might help me discover some festive spirit.
I doubt I need to outline the plot, I can't imagine anyone reading a blog on books wouldn't know the story but for the sake of completeness, trying not to completely spoil it for anyone who doesn't....
Scrooge is a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" who cannot abide Christmas. Then, one Christmas Eve he is visited by his dead business partner, followed by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. They show him the true spirit of Christmas and his grim fate, and that of his clerk's son Tiny Tim, should he not change his ways.
What I love about Dickens' writing is the rich, vivid descriptions that conjure up the sights and sounds so well. Some modern authors describe places I ought to be able to imagine as they would be within my realm of experience yet I can't clearly visualise them, whereas I can see in my mind's eye the London Scrooge inhabits. The Stave on the Ghost of Christmas Present includes brilliant scenes of families enjoying Christmas together, and that has really made me think about what the festive season is all about. A great book and job done as far as getting me in the mood for the holidays.