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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What did the Cratchit family do before carving and eating the goose?

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The Cratchit family is not used to having sufficient food—and certainly not food of such quality as the goose they are offered on Christmas day. As such, the children carry it in as if in a "procession," and the family behaves as if the goose is a very rare thing. They are extremely excited, and they indicate this with much "bustle."

Before they can eat, various preparations have to be made. Mrs. Cratchit prepares the gravy and warms it up; Peter vigorously mashes the potatoes; Belinda sweetens the apple sauce; Martha dusts the hot plates; Bob takes Tiny Tim over to a corner of the table to make sure he has his plate; and the youngest two Cratchits set out the chairs around the table. They put spoons into their mouths as if to hold in their shrieks of delight. Finally, before the goose is carved, the dishes are laid on the table and the family says grace. At last, Mrs. Cratchit plunges the carving knife into the cooked goose, and Tiny Tim beats on the table with his knife and shouts, "Hurrah."

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