But now a knocking at the door was heard, and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group, just in time to greet the father, who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. Then the shouting and the struggling, and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter! The scaling him, with chairs for ladders, to dive into his pockets, despoil him of brown-paper parcels, hold on tight by his cravat, hug him round the neck, pommel his back, and kick his legs in irrepressible affection! The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received! The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll’s frying-pan into his mouth, and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey, glued on a wooden platter! The immense relief of finding this a false alarm! The joy, and gratitude, and ecstasy! They are all indescribable alike. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour, and by one stair at a time, up to the top of the house; where they went to bed, and so subsided.
And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever, when the master of the house, having his daughter leaning fondly on him, sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside; and when he thought that such another creature, quite as graceful and as full of promise, might have called him father, and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life, his sight grew very dim indeed.
Scrooge has nobody; he’s built his life to have nobody. Perhaps when he was younger and full of ambition it was enough, but everybody, no matter how self-contained, needs somebody.
Scrooge has lost the chance for his own wife and family, but he sees here what could have been if he’d put love before money. It seems funny to me that I could pull so many hygge moments out of just the Ghost of Christmas Past, but I think that’s part of the magic of hygge, perhaps, that it is so tied up with nostalgia and reminiscing. Certainly, it needs to be his past that drives Scrooge towards change. Here he sees clearly how different his life could have been if he’d chosen a different path.
I’m a great believer in not needing to be told, in learning from other’s mistakes. Here, I know not to push people away, but to keep them close. I don’t want to be alone with only my career or wealth for company. I’d far rather have a family, even if not a blood family, but a rag, tag and bobtail assembled around me. Who’s in your family?
There’s a free day today; no Christmas Carol to read! But be here all the earlier the next day to read on…