I know that it is a bit early for proper Christmas reading, but what with all the snow and freezing temperatures, my 'inner child' has been quietly nudging me to re-read various excerpts from some of my favourite books, both childhood and beyond. So, I gave in to temptation and have been re-acquainting myself with Mole and Badger's cosy warm homes; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy's heroic breakfast donations; Christmas parties at Dingley Dell with Mr Pickwick; Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in Narnia and Tolly's adventures at Green Knowe. Each is like an old friend who doesn't criticise you for not visiting as often as you should, but welcomes you wholeheartedly and makes you feel as though you have never been away.
Of course, the quintessential Christmas story has to be 'A Christmas Carol' which I have read this morning. The book is so much better than any adaptation for TV or film, no matter how good they are. It has a wonderful humour to it as well as amazing descriptions of a Victorian Christmas at Fezziwig's and nephew Fred's house. There are mouth watering descriptions of Victorian shops, overflowing with succulent fruit and treats - how can the reader not be drawn in? The redemption of Scrooge is the central theme, naturally, and Dickens lays before his reader the whole of Scrooge's life, explaining what led him to become the miserly old skinflint and how this cold veneer was eventually shattered. In this freezing snowy weather, what could be better than to allow these stories to send you a warm glow?