At a time when "Merry Christmas" is being supplanted by a more vague "Happy Holidays," and the season gives way to coarse behavior and unchecked materialism, A Christmas Carol is the perfect guidebook to put things into perspective. This short novel by Charles Dickens, originally published in 1843 and conceived and written in a few weeks, is perhaps the outstanding Christmas myth of modern literature. Through a series of spectral visions, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is allowed to review his life and to change its outcome. The Ghost of Christmas Past reveals vignettes of Scrooge's early life as a schoolboy, an apprentice, and a young man in love. The Ghost of Christmas Present reveals to Scrooge that joy has little to do with wealth; together they visit the homes of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's much abused clerk, and of his generous nephew Fred, who has married for love. Finally the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come allows Scrooge a vision of what his end will be like if he continues on his present course?he will die despised and unmourned. After witnessing these scenes Scrooge is a changed man. He immediately sets about mending his ways, becoming generous and thoughtful and thereby finding redemption and joy. A timeless story the whole family will enjoy!