Victorian Gentleman

10 Christmas Carol Quotes to Stir Your Heart

A Christmas Carol and why it has a place in our Catholic homeschools

For most of the past 10-15 years, I’ve made it a point to read Charles Dickens’ inimitable A Christmas Carol during the Advent season. I don’t really remember what prompted this decision and I didn’t consciously set out to make it some kind of annual resolution. But year after year, I found myself noticing something missing a few days into December. Inevitably, I’d exclaim, “OH! That’s right! It’s time to read A Christmas Carol!

The experience has been truly wonderful. I am endlessly charmed by the richness of this relatively small classic (my copy is only 130 pages), and there is just something about Dickens’ style I find to be fun, cheerful, and oftentimes profoundly thought-provoking and even deeply moving.

With all of that in mind, I thought it would be fun to kick off my very first blog entry for Homeschool Connections by sharing some of the insights and inspirations this classic work has stirred in me over the years. And what better way to do that than focusing on my own personal favorite Top 10 quotes! I couldn’t settle on a preference order, so I’ll just stick with the order they appear in the text.


He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. They were a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of building up a yard, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and have forgotten the way out again.

Isn’t this an utterly hilarious image? I would probably have spent a great deal of time attempting to describe the house’s design features, number of windows, paint color(s), number of storeys and the like. But not Dickens – he’s far too creative to do something so boring! Instead, he delivers a delightful image that brings houses themselves to life.


Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

I don’t really have anything to add! The description of a man who is almost irretrievably lost – a man who doesn’t want to be found by any company whatsoever. A man who is essentially allergic to communion has effectively ceased to be a man at all.


“How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.”

It was not an agreeable idea. Scrooge shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

Marley’s ghost delivers this bone-chilling anecdote in words that make me shiver every single time I read them! For me this calls up suspicions, or rather intuitions, that the world we cannot see is far bigger and immeasurably more mysterious than the one we can see. There is so much more going on in reality than meets our eyes, and those who have gone before us live on, either in eternal bliss, eternal shadow, or temporary purgation. Even Dickens soon adds that he himself is “standing in the spirit at your elbow” as you read these pages!


For again Scrooge saw himself. He was older now; a man in the prime of life. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years; but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice. There was an eager, greedy, restless motion in the eye, which showed the passion that had taken root, and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall.

Usually our salvation or damnation does not happen in a swift, dramatic, obvious moment. Augustine said, Pondus meum amor meus, which basically means “love is my gravity”. If love is my gravity, I will be drawn ever more consistently in its direction and my life will bear the fruit of a man who is truly in love itself. Scrooge’s gravity, however, is his need to acquire – Pondus meum avaritia mea. He obsessively fortifies his life behind walls of material wealth because he so desperately fears the very thing Christ places at the head of the Beatitudes: poverty of Spirit.


“As good as gold,” said Bob, “and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.”

I’m not kidding you – literally every single time I hear this read or read it myself (even if I don’t read it aloud) I weep! You don’t have to admit if you’re in the same boat, but I’ll bet you are! This always leads me to a deeper consideration of the mystery of God’s will. People young and old often wonder why Jesus didn’t heal all of the lepers in Scripture. Skeptics are fond of criticizing Our Lord for not healing “leprosy” itself. The examples abound in all our lives: Why won’t God lighten this load I’m bearing right now? Why won’t God heal my friend? Why would God let me suffer this much? Why did God let my loved one die? The short and admittedly unsatisfying answer is that we simply cannot possibly comprehend the enormity of God’s grand design.

We could never in 10,000 lifetimes fathom the depths of His will in all its interconnected mystery. But if we can lay down our prideful need to know or to see before we believe, and rather embrace the childlike faith of Tiny Tim, we can become extraordinary witnesses to the power and saving grace of God.


If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blessed in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance.

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humor.

Fred is, from the beginning of the story, the perfect photo negative of Scrooge. Perhaps it’s better to say it the other way around – Fred is what Scrooge might have been if he had determined to put genuine “first things first”. Fred is keenly aware of the pitfalls of life in this fallen world. He no doubt suffers from the same temptations to fear the many perilous circumstances life inevitably brings our way. And yet, he is a man of joy through and through. He doesn’t even let his uncle’s miserly and cantankerous personality deter him from at least making the attempt to invite him to the feast. Like the Apostles, disciples down the ages, like Christ himself, Fred lovingly extends the invitation to Joy.


They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shriveled hand, like that of age, had pinched and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

The Ghost of Christmas Future here issues a frightening picture of Ignorance and Want, whom he says are characteristically man’s own. In response to Scrooge’s query about what might be done for them, the Ghost merely repeats Scrooge’s earlier dismissive quip to the charitable gentlemen who visited him on Christmas Eve: “Are there no prisons? … Are there no workhouses?” It echoes Our Lord’s stern assurance in Matthew 12:36-37: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”


Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs!

This is just delightful. Period!


Shaving was not an easy task, for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you don’t dance while you are at it.

How does Dickens write like this? Anyone who has ever shaved his face knows how precarious an endeavor it can be (that’s one of the reasons I stopped doing it years ago!) Of all the mundane human routines to place at the heart of Scrooge’s comprehensive transformation scene, there could be nothing better than shaving.


“It is I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?”

Let him in! It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier.

That’s Heaven, folks. Plain and simple. Never forget, as we unfortunately do so often, that God and all the Hosts of Heaven want you at the everlasting banquet unimaginably more than YOU want to be there! If you let that sink in and cling to it deeply, it will change everything.


How could I pass up the opportunity to end with perhaps the most famous quote of all from this charming and timeless story?

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us every one!

NOTE: My copy is a beautiful little weathered 1914 hardback published in Philadelphia by David McKay and “pictured” by A.I. Keller. Here’s a link to a similar one if you’re curious: A Christmas Carol [McKay] 1914.

If you’d like to go even deeper into A Christmas Carol, here is a delightful Homeschooling Saints episode with Tony Esolen and Lisa Mladinich to check out today…

This article may contain affiliate links.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Resources to help you in your Catholic homeschool…

Catholic Homeschool Classes Online

Homeschooling Saints Podcast

Good Counsel Careers

The Catholic Homeschool Conference

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get updated every month on all the latest Homeschooling Saints podcast episodes and new blog posts

Ready to Get Started?

Homeschooling can seem daunting at first, but take it from us: The joy and freedom you gain from homeschooling far outweighs the challenges.

With flexible online classes, passionate instructors, and a supportive community at your back and cheering you on, there’s no limits to where your homeschooling journey can take your family! 

Sign up today!

Pin It on Pinterest