Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

Post from December 6th: The story of Saint Nicholas, known long before the time of Charles Dickens, was propagated through Dicken’s novel The Christmas Carol. Its vivid description of Saint Nicholas and Christmas festivities changed the way England celebrated the feast. His novel led to much more decoration, gift giving, and special food by the Londoners.

Because Dickens wanted his grandchildren to understand the Gospel, he incorporated the major themes of the Gospel in his novel. Dicken’s Christological view runs across every page. A Christmas Carol is a story of conversion. All humans are portrayed as good with everyone having potential for redemption even Scrooge. A close reading of the original novel shows the author’s emphasis on “caritas,” charity. There are no class systems at Christmas, Marley is a prophet, there are references to the star of Bethlehem and magi, and Tiny Tim is vicar for Christ. Writing about this novel, G. K. Chesterton said he was glad Scrooge was converted to the punchbowl instead of away from it. Thank you, Charles Dickens, for creating such a joyous feast imitating the angels who first brought news of great joy.

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