A Christmas Carol Part 3: The Spirit Of Christmas Present

He brought a tear to my eye and halt to my throat, did Old Dickens in this episode. I think he was a man of great humanity who genuinely did care for those who were not as well-off as he was.

The only slight caution I had was Old Topper chasing The Plump Sister and getting her in a corner. We inevitably all view behaviour through the lens of our own time and of course this behaviour reminded me of the #MeToo. I certainly wouldn’t want my daughters, mother or my partner cornered like this.

But I read it out, because I must make some kind of editorial decisions about which stories I read out. Some, I suppose, I will choose not to read, and if I read them out, I won’t abridge them.

Except, I recall changing single offensive words that would just be a jolt to the reader. I suppose if the word is not used by the writer to be offensive… but that might be a cop out.

It’s all up for debate I know.

But yes, this was a lovely episode. The descriptions are wonderful and lots of episodes are superfluous to the narrative, but great fun.

The other observation is about the degree to which Dickens is reporting the Christmas festivities of his period or is actually encouraging them, and in measure therefore creating them.

Were Christmasses as Christmassy as Dickens portrays them? Maybe not before, but certainly afterwards as we all began to emulate what we read and heard in this book, even if we didn’t read it or hear it ourselves but only obtained it via the TV.

Enjoy your plum pudding.

More Christmas Ghost Stories Ebook & Paperback

Oh, did I mention my More Christmas Ghost Stories it out? The paperback and ebook are done and the audiobook is being approved now. So you can get it if you want. The stories are good, and improved by the attention of my Beta Readers. I have had the most wonderful 5 star review. Thanks a million Emhack from Torquay for that. Also had a splendid and rather humbling review for the podcast from Sandra Quintal from Canda.

Thanks also to my Substackers and Patreons for your ongoing support. Dracula soon, just for you.


The opening music is Some Come Back by The Heartwood Institute. At the end I’ve added The Heartwood track: From The Forest, From The Furrows, From The Fields which is on their Secret Rites album. As I say in the episode, this is a canonical folk horror track.

The last piece of music is from The Hare & The Moon and is called The Midnight Folk. I talk about my love of John Masefield’s book of that name. Of course the Midnight Folk was the sequel to The Box of Delights and that was made into BBC series which I think is enjoying its 36th anniversary this Christmas.

Both Jonathan of The Heartwood Institute and Grey Malkin (ex Hare & The Moon) allow me to use their music free of charge, so if you fancy popping over to Bandcamp and getting some of their stuff, I (and I’m sure they) would be very pleased.

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