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  • Ryanne Harper

Holiday Reads: A Christmas Carol

We can't let the holiday season pass us by and NOT talk about THE Christmas classic.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.

Thanks to movie adaptations, everyone is familiar with the story. The Muppets really helped bring it to the masses by creating the dopest version yet. If you don't like that movie, I have nothing to say to you. Plus, in a round about way, A Christmas Carol gave us Scrooge McDuck for which I am eternally grateful. Admittedly, I was late in the game when it came to actually reading the book. I was forced to read Chuck D. in school and, honestly, I wasn't that in to it. The only character I really care about it Ms. Havisham. Look, I know she's a cranky old woman who spends her life molding women to lure men in and then rip their hearts out, but...that's awesome. I don't have a bad thing to say about her. Speaking of Havisham, our podcast How Many Havishams? is coming SOON. Okay, so, A Christmas Carol.

We all know the story of Scrooge and the three spirits. Rather than recount the narrative, I'd like to share my favorite memory associated with A Christmas Carol.

Growing up, we had this neighbor who, for reasons unknown, had a CB radio. The antenna attached to their house was enormous and, every day, we'd hear him talking to his friends through all the electronics. This was the day of landlines. We couldn't use our phone, he'd come through the television, the alarm clocks, it was a nightmare. My parents tried talking to the man, but it was no use. They tried calling the police and the FCC. It did no good. So, we learned to live with it. Then, Christmas came along, as it always does. The neighbors, I guess because the CB thing wasn't obnoxious enough, also had a Cousin Eddie-style RV parked in their yard and every single blow mold, cheap plastic lawn ornament available at K-Mart. Hey, I'm not hatin', but the neighbors seemed like K-Mart people to me.

On Christmas Eve, the family gathered at our house. The neighbors, of course, were home. And talking on the CB. Not talking to anyone, just yelling, "This is Mayonnaise. Is anyone out there?" over an over. I could see the rage building in both my parents and knew a blow up was coming. I couldn't wait!

Christmas day had arrived! After dinner with family, we came home and I settled in to watch A Christmas Carol. By the time the ghost of Christmas present arrived, it was unwatchable. Mayonnaise was squawking into the abyss. I gave up and turned the television off. The next thing I know, my dad stormed past me and went out in the front yard where he proceeded to have a full-blown Clark Griswold freak out. Screaming, "My daughter's trying to watch A Christmas Carol! Shut the hell up." - I have heavily censored the freak out. That's not what he said. What he said was much more poetic - as he punched their plastic Santa in the face. He then ripped up the plastic candy canes, kicked the reindeer; the poor elves didn't stand a chance. Mom and I stood on the porch of our little house on Hardie Avenue laughing hysterically as Dad straight up destroyed their things. It's my second favorite Christmas memory and 100% on brand for my family.

Now, when I watch or read A Christmas Carol, I can't help but smile, remembering that particular Christmas. I haven't a clue what I got that year as far as gifts go. My take way was a hilarious memory and a killer story. And that, dear readers, is what Christmas is all about.

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