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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Why does Scrooge's nephew enjoy Christmas?

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Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew, Fred, comes to see his uncle and wishes him a Merry Christmas. He is dismayed when Scrooge declares Christmas a "humbug" and suggests that it is nothing more than a time to pay more bills with less money than at other times of year.

Fred argues that, in fact, Christmas is a time of year which brings him good cheer. In the first place, he appreciates it for its religious meaning—it reminds him of the basis for his faith. Aside from that, he enjoys it because it is a "charitable" time, a time for forgiving, and the best time of year to appreciate other people being warm and friendly toward each other. Fred notes that at Christmas and at Christmas alone, there is a sense of camaraderie between people of different classes and cultures, when people feel as if they are all part of the same race and moving toward the same ideals and desires. As such, although Christmas is not a time to make money, Fred still feels that Christmas does him good, because it makes him feel better and happier as a human being to witness this kind of charity and joy.

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