illustration of Ebenezer Scrooge in silhouette walking toward a Christmas tree and followed by the three ghosts

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

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As Scrooge leaves the office, what does he give his clerk?

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It's Christmas Eve, and Scrooge is about to head home after another long working day. His underpaid, over-worked clerk, Bob Cratchit, is also getting ready to leave the office. As Scrooge starts to button up his winter coat, he expresses his displeasure at Cratchit's wanting to have Christmas Day off work—and expecting to be paid for it too! As far as the mean old skinflint's concerned, this is a gross inconvenience, not to mention daylight robbery. He considers it an outrage that he should have to pay someone not to work.

Nonetheless, he gives a more-grateful-than-he-really-ought-to-be Cratchit the day off to celebrate Christmas with his family. Cratchit is understandably overjoyed at the news and slides down Cornhill no fewer than twenty times in a state of considerable excitement before rushing home to be with his family.

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