I've grown up surrounded by A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and the movie versions of this story. As a child, I avoided reading Dickens unless it was a school assignment and even then we were every only required to read ACC so I never had experience with any other works of his.
This past Christmas season I was struck by the urge to purchase as many classical pieces of literature as I could while I had an employee discount through Borders. I bought a book that was a combination of three of Dickens Christmas based stories. A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth were all featured in this book.
Picking up The Chimes today was more then likely due to the fact that it was cold and rainy. I felt like a reminder of the warmth of the holiday season so this was what I went to.
The story reminds me of It's A Wonderful Life despite that this was of course written long before that holiday classic movie was made. The story of a man who has his doubts on the world and seems to have lost all forms of happiness. The goblins who exist within the bells of a church, by each chime, shows the man how the lives of his loved ones could be in the future if he were to continue on with his jaded life.
He see's all of this as a ghost, unable to contact his loved ones, and it isn't until his daughter is about to commit suicide that he 'see's the light' so to speak and changes his mind- reverting back to the very night where this insane dream began: New Year's Eve.
The holiday season is always filled with stories that push people to think more morally and live their lives better. It's a shame that this moral obsession isn't pressed upon people more during the rest of the year.
I enjoy how Dickens has a tendency to talk to his audience as if he were telling you the story at that very moment. He's been dead and gone for years and yet I see it as just that, he were sitting beside me taking a heavy sigh and saying, "Let me tell you a story."