My Favourite Charles Dickens Christmas Passage – And It’s Not from Dickens a Christmas Carol!

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Most people, when they think of Charles Dickens and Christmas, think of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. But many of Charles Dickens novels feature Christmas passages, and while Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is of course a classic, one of my favourite Dickens Christmas passages is the one from the Pickwick Papers.

Here it is – isn’t it lovely?

And numerous indeed are the hearts to which Christmas
brings a brief season of happiness and enjoyment. How many
families, whose members have been dispersed and scattered far
and wide, in the restless struggles of life, are then reunited, and
meet once again in that happy state of companionship and mutual
goodwill, which is a source of such pure and unalloyed delight;
and one so incompatible with the cares and sorrows of the world,
that the religious belief of the most civilised nations, and the rude
traditions of the roughest savages, alike number it among the
first joys of a future condition of existence, provided for the
blessed and happy! How many old recollections, and how many
dormant sympathies, does Christmas time awaken!

We write these words now, many miles distant from the spot
at which, year after year, we met on that day, a merry and joyous
circle. Many of the hearts that throbbed so gaily then, have
ceased to beat; many of the looks that shone so brightly then,
have ceased to glow; the hands we grasped, have grown cold; the
eyes we sought, have hid their lustre in the grave; and yet the old
house, the room, the merry voices and smiling faces, the jest,
the laugh, the most minute and trivial circumstances connected
with those happy meetings, crowd upon our mind at each
recurrence of the season, as if the last assemblage had been but
yesterday! Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the
delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the
pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the
traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and
his quiet home!

And so, Happy Christmas to All!

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