I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.’
– Their faithful Friend and Servant, CD. December 1843
Christmas here is about tradition – reliving it and recreating it. The Housing Works in Soho hosts an annual marathon reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This year’s was held yesterday, which also happened to be the 167th anniversary of the day the story was first published. Dozens of actors, poets and writers took turns to each read a part from the classic story.
It was indeed a marathon but such a delight to hear each of the readers imbue the words with their own inflections and emotions.
It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.
The holiday spirit fills many of the houses here too. It makes walking in the cold that much more bearable.
And inside some homes, it’s even better. Like inside my friend Joan’s place.