‘The Christmas Tree’ by Charles Dickens

Dickens, Charles 1850

The Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens, 1850

The magic trick:

Reveling in nostalgia for the Christmas of his youth

What better way to launch a second December of Christmas stories on the SSMT blog than with Charles Dickens? He did, I am told, invent Christmas.

This is more of an essay than a story, really. It certainly doesn’t have the intricate plot of “The Chimes” or “A Christmas Carol.” Just know that going in so you can adjust your expectations and then sit back and enjoy the master reveling in his two favorite things: childhood and nostalgia. The introductory section in which he details a Christmas tree of the mid-19th century is alone worth the price of admission. And that’s quite a trick on Dickens’s part.

The selection:

I have been looking on, this evening, at a merry company of children assembled round that pretty German toy, a Christmas Tree. The tree was planted in the middle of a great round table, and towered high above their heads. It was brilliantly lighted by a multitude of little tapers; and everywhere sparkled and glittered with bright objects.

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