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Monday, December 19, 2016

Reader's Diary #1426- Charles Dickens: The Christmas Goblins


Published years before "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' "The Christmas Goblins" feels like a rough draft of the later novella. Actually, to put in more modern terms, it feels like a sitcom version of what should be a movie. The plot is rushed through and a character has an implausibly life changing experience.

The Scrooge character here is Gabriel Grubb, a sour-souled grave digger working on Christmas Eve. However, he doesn't seem bitter about this but rather enjoys it. It's a carol-singing boy that really gets under his skin.

As he begins to dig, goblins show up to chastise him for digging a grave on Christmas Eve. This I really didn't get. Maybe criticize him for enjoying it, but the story does state that it has to be readied for the next day. If someone has died and the burial has been scheduled for the next day, how is Grubb to be blamed for this?

Anyway, to send their message home, the goblins give him visions of families enjoying themselves for Christmas, even those whose circumstances might suggest they have little to celebrate. Grubb is so touched by the odd experience and visions that he becomes a changed man.

I just hope he finishes that grave.

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