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In Stave Three of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge witnesses with the Spirit of Christmas Present the goings-on in the Cratchit home as the family prepares for their holiday dinner. A loving family, the children are excited when their father arrives; all the other members attend to Tiny Tim; Bob, his father, carries him to the wash-house where he can hear the pudding "singing." Upon their return, Mrs. Cratchit asks solicitously, "And how did little Tim behave?"
When the table is finally set and the goose placed upon it, all exclaim in delight at what they have rather than complaining about what little they possess and how they want for much. Tiny Tim sits next to his father who holds his "withered hand" as though he would keep him from leaving. After they wish each other a Merry Christmas, Bob Crachit makes a toast to Mr. Scrooge, "the Founder of the Feast!" In reaction to this toast, his wife remarks,
"The Founder of the Feast indeed!....I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it."
But, Bob mildly reminds her, "My dear,...Christmas Day." So Mrs. Crachit acquiesces, telling her husband, "I'll drink his health for your sake and the Day's..."
As they eat, the parents and children all converse together and two of the older children talk of what they have earned, displaying their sense of familial obligation. Dickens describes them:
They were not a handsome family; they were not well dress; their shoes were far from being water-proof;.....But, they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time....
Although they are poor, the Crachits are rich in love. This Scrooge observes and then realizes why the Spirit has brought him to their home.
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