So by the time Charles Dickens came along, big Christmas celebrations were largely a thing of the past in the English-speaking world. We're seeing what Dickens would like Christmas to be. Think about how Dickens describes the Cratchits' Christmas feast: "Mrs Cratchit made the gravy ready beforehand in a little saucepan hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce.
Forbes says that in Dickens' Englad Christmas "was not lavishly celebrated, except in some country homes. It simply wasn't a major, culturally dominant celebration, but I think Dickens wanted to make it more so. It wasn't the big holiday it is today, either. Here in the U. In fact, Bruce Forbes says most people worked on Christmas.
Bob Cratchit was lucky to get it off, even if Scrooge wasn't happy about it. Charles Dickens wrote a lot of Christmas stories. But he wrote one almost every year. So, why was Dickens so interested in Christmas? Dickens scholar John Jordan says the Christmas stories, like Dickens' other writings, are meant as social commentary about life in 19th Century England.
Jordan, who directs the Dickens Project head-quartered at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says Dickens also saw the stories as a successful franchise, a money-maker. But Jordan doesn't want to give the impression that Dickens was just greedy, or just trying to make a point. He really did love Christmas. And through the wild popularity of his stories, Dickens' fantasies, to some extent, became a reality. It wasn't just that Dickens made Christmas more popular. He changed it. John Jordan gives Dickens credit for helping turn Christmas into a family-centered holiday, and associating it with charity for the poor.
Bruce Forbes says even some of the food we eat at Christmastime can be traced back to Charles Dickens. But Christmas trees?
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Thank queen Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, for making them popular in the English-speaking world. Actually, Christmas trees predate Christians. So does the good old Yule log. And our red and white version Santa Claus comes courtesy of Coca Cola. So maybe Charles Dickens didn't invent Christmas. But he did help revive it. And, come on. Classical Listen Playlist.
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