Novel Notes: A Christmas Carol

Issue 4

Christmas Trees

Families in medieval Germany celebrated the Christmas season in their homes by displaying a wooden pyramid fitted with shelves and decorated with Christmas statuettes, candles, and a star. Then, on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve, families brought fir trees into their homes and decorated them with apples to symbolize the Garden of Eden. The Germans called these trees Paradise trees; later, they added candles and tied wafers onto the branches. By the sixteenth century, the Paradise tree and the Christmas pyramid had merged into the traditional Christmas tree.

It took almost two hundred years for the Christmas tree to travel from Germany to England. It came in the early 1800s, along with Queen Victoria's German-born husband, Prince Albert.

What's Cookin?

It is pudding time again. Blood pudding, kidney pudding, black pudding, marrow pudding, suet pudding, bread and butter pudding, batter pudding, and roly-poly pudding are fine for the rest of the year, but at the end of December, we Londoners want our plum pudding!

This year make it easy for yourself. Why stuff your ground meat and spices into pork intestines when you can wrap your pudding in a cloth? Don't have an oven? No problem--you can boil or steam this pudding over your own fire. Add some sugar and dried fruit to your meat mix, pack it tightly, wrap it in a cloth, cook it till it's done, and you have the most nutritious dessert!

Single Room in East End

Space for a family. One room with fireplace and grate will accommodate eating, sleeping, cooking. Top floor location; stairway and landing space available for visitors.
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House for Rent

Small four-room house complete with kitchen, dining room--parlor, and two bedrooms. Water nearby.

That's PUNNY!

A pun is a play on the multiple meanings of a word (such as the bark of a dog and the bark of a tree) or on two words that sound alike by have different meanings (such as sail and sale). Dickens makes a pun using Bob Cratchit's name and the name of a coin. In England, a bob was slang for a shilling. Since Scrooge pays Cratchit the small salary of fifteen shillings a week, the narrator observes that "Bob had but fifteen "Bob" a week himself; he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name..."
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Audio Reading of Stave 3

Scrooge - A Christmas Carol - Stave 3 - Ghost of Christmas Present - Charles Dickens

Vocabulary and Terms

Works Cited

German Paradise Tree. Digital image. History Myths Debunked. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Novel Notes: Issue 4. N.d. Educational Fictitious Newsletter.

"Pun of the Day." Funniest Puns and Jokes. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

"Rediscover the Meaning of Christmas." Web log post. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Symbols-Chrismtas-Tree. Digital image. Rediscover the Meaning of Christmas. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Victoria and Edward. Digital image. The History Chicks Queens. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Victorian London Housing. Digital image. Victorian London. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Wooden Tree. Digital image. The History of Trees. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.