The Christmas Story
by Charles Dickens
(Excerpted from Dicken's "The Life of Our Lord,"
written for his children.)
||He was born, a long long time ago -
nearly Two Thousand years ago - at a
place called Bethlehem. His father and
mother lived in a city called Nazareth,
but they were forced, by business to
travel to Bethlehem. His father's name
was Joseph, and his mother's name was
And the town being very full of
people, also brought there by business,
there was no room for Joseph and Mary in
the Inn or any house; so they went into a
Stable to lodge, and in this stable Jesus
Christ was born. There was no cradle or
anything of that kind there, so Mary laid
her pretty little boy in what is called
the Manger, which is the place the horses
eat out of. And there he fell asleep.
|While he was asleep, some Shepherds
who were watching Sheep in the Fields,
saw an Angel from God, all light and
beautiful, come moving over the grass
towards Them. At first they were afraid
and fell down and hid their faces. But it
said ``There is a child born to-day in
the city of Bethlehem near here, who will
grow up to be so good that God will love
him as his own son; and he will teach men
to love one another, and not to quarrel
and hurt one another; and his name will
be Jesus Christ; and people will put that
name in their prayers, because they will
know God loves it, and will know that
they should love it too.'' And then the
Angel told the Shepherds to go to that
Stable, and look at that little child in
the Manger. Which they did; and they
kneeled down by it in its sleep, and said
``God bless this child!''
Now the great place of all that
country was Jerusalem - just as London is the
great place in England - and at Jerusalem the
King lived, whose name was King Herod. Some wise
men came one day, from a country a long way off
in the East, and said to the King `` We have seen
a Star in the Sky, which teaches us to know that
a child is born in Bethlehem who will live to be
a man whom all people will love.'' When King
Herod heard this, he was jealous, for he was a
wicked man. But he pretended not to be, and said
to the wise men, ``Whereabouts is this child?''
And the wise men said ``We don't know. But we
think the Star will shew us; for the Star has
been moving on before us, all the way here, and
is now standing still in the sky.'' Then Herod
asked them to see if the Star would shew them
where the child lived, and ordered them, if they
found the child, to come back to him. So they
went out, and the Star went on, over their heads
a little way before them, until it stopped over
the house where the child was. This was very
wonderful, but God ordered it to be so.
|When the Star stopped, the wise men
went in, and saw the child with Mary his
Mother. They loved him very much, and
gave him some presents. Then they went
away. But they did not go back to King
Herod; for they thought he was jealous,
though he had not said so. So they went
away, by night, back into their own
country. And an Angel came, and told
Joseph and Mary to take the child into a
Country called Egypt, or Herod would kill
him. So they escaped too, in the night -
the father, the mother, and the child -
and arrived there, safely.
But when this cruel Herod found
that the wise men did not come back to him, and
that he could not, therefore, find out where this
child, Jesus Christ, lived, he called his
soldiers and captains to him, and told them to go
and Kill all the children in his dominions that
were not more than two years old. The wicked men
did so. The mothers of the children ran up and
down the streets with them in their arms trying
to save them, and hide them in caves and cellars,
but it was of no use. The soldiers with their
swords killed all the children they could find.
This dreadful murder was called the Murder of the
Innocents. Because the little children were so
||King Herod hoped that Jesus Christ
was one of them. But He was not, as you
know, for He had escaped safely into
Egypt. And he lived there, with his
father and mother, until Bad King Herod
The First of the
The Second of
the Three Spirits
The Last of the
The End of It
items and pages that are part of this site:
Essays by Dickens
tree is decorated with bright merriment, and
song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are
welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held,
beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which
cast no gloomy shadow!"
So writes Charles
Dickens concerning a tradition that even in his
day was precious. Enjoy his story, "The Christmas Tree," as he recollects the joy it brought to
can be insensible to the outpourings of good
feeling, and the honest interchange of
affectionate attachment, which abound at this
season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We
know nothing in nature more delightful! There
seems a magic in the very name of
The family seated
around the Christmas dinner table is a treasured
time that becomes forever etched in our hearts.
Enjoy Dicken's story, "A Christmas Dinner," as he relates the joys it brings.
friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother,
husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You
shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas
hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the
season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of
immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!"
In his short
story, "What Christmas Is
As We Grow Older,"
Dickens encourages us to not forget the past joys
and loves we have known, in order to shut out the
pain of loss. Rather, we defeat the loss by
celebrating the memories of times and people once
close to us.
children, I am very anxious that you should know
something about the History of Jesus Christ. For
everybody ought to know about Him." -Charles
forgot the Source of the holiday cheer he spread
about with his writings, or the meaning of the
silent night in Bethlehem so long ago. In this
excerpt from his private story written for his
children, "The Life of Our Lord,"
Dickens explains simply in his own words "The Christmas Story."
and Film Versions
Information about the 1951 version with
Alastair Sim, with photos, comparisons to the
novel and excerpts from the soundtrack.
Information about the 1939
radio version produced
by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore.
Information about the BBC radio version starring Michael Gough.Also the 1975
CBS Radio Mystery Theater version starring E.G.
Information about Disney's "A
short animated feature
Information about "Scrooge," the 1970
musical version starring
Information about the Muppet's
Information about the Disney's CG version starring Jim Carrey.
Information about Rich Little's one-man version
of "A Christmas
Information about the 1971 Chuck Jones animated film featuring Alastair Sim
as the voice of Scrooge!
Information about Patrick
Stewart's one-man performance of the book, as
well as his 1999 movie adaptation.
Complete scan of "A Christmas Carol" comic book
adaptation from the
70's by Marvel Comics!
Enjoy scenes from the story in these antique
Classics Illustrated "A Christmas
Carol" cover #1.
Classics Illustrated "A Christmas
Carol" cover #2.
Pendulum's Illustrated Stories "A Christmas
A Dean Morrissey painting of Scrooge outside his London business. The print
can be bought here.
Montage of scenes from the novel by artist Jeffrey Bedrick made for a
puzzle, which can be bought here.
See Scrooge in
various ads for merchandise that make him
Other resources outside of this site:
Read the story
behind of the writing of this most-loved
Christmas story here, as originally published in Reader's
According to Dickens: A series of articles by
Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts.
Christmas: an excellent site!
incredible table-top reproduction of Dicken's
London on this page.
In an essay on
his favorite Christmas videos, columnist C. W. Oberleitner examines the
best adaptations of "A Christmas Carol"