Alongside F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ending of the Great Gatsby (“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock…”), the ending of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the most well-known ending of a novel:
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
In her devotional guide, God Bless Us Every One, Annie Tipton observes: “After the nativity story, there may be no holiday story more beloved than A Christmas Carol. Although the story has no overt Christian message, we can glean many inspirational lessons from [its] pages.” Scrooge, of course, is initially an unlikely pastor, but after his transformative experience, he becomes an inspirational ambassador of good will. Dickens’ immortal character teaches us about redemption, generosity, forgiveness, and kindness as well as the importance of friendship, relationships, family, and living in the present. Through A Christmas Carol, Dickens has provided every reader with the knowledge and inspiration to keep Christmas well every day of the year. But can we allow Christmas to live in our hearts throughout the year? It’s up to you…
Read related posts: Why Read Dickens?
The Origin of the Name Scrooge
The Inspiration for Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
Life Lessons from A Christmas Carol
What is a First Edition of A Christmas Carol Worth?
A Christmas Carol by the Numbers
A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life
Words invented by Dickens
Why Read Dickens?
Words invented by Dickens
For further reading: God Bless Us Every One!: Devotional Inspiration from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens by Annie Tipton (2016)
52 Little Lessons From A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch (2015)