“The Grocers’! oh the Grocers’! nearly closed, with perhaps two shutters down, or one; but through those gaps such glimpses! It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound, or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly, or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks, or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose, or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare, the almonds so extremely white, the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight, the other spices so delicious, the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy, or that the French plums blushed in modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes, or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress; but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day, that they tumbled up against each other at the door, crashing their wicker baskets wildly, and left their purchases upon the counter, and came running back to fetch them, and committed hundreds of the like mistakes, in the best humour possible; while the Grocer and his people were so frank and fresh that the polished hearts with which they fastened their aprons behind might have been their own, worn outside for general inspection, and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose.”
From “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
Is there a passage as wonderful as this one? Dickens’ description makes me want to be right there in England, on that very day, smelling those smells that are “so grateful to the nose.”
Is there a better reason to read books? To read, and feel the cold air, picture the shoppers in your mind, feel your hands reaching for the French plums and imagining what they taste like?
That’s what books, real books, are for. I love the movie “A Christmas Carol,” especially the one with Alastair Sim, but the book, oh, the Book!
The following are 2 slightly different movie trailers from 1951, both on the same video, with Thanks to “XmasFLIX” at http://www.youtube.com/user/XmasFLIX