Hence that recurrent Dickens figure, the good rich man. This character belongs especially to Dickens's early optimistic period. He is usually a ‘merchant’ (we are not necessarily told what merchandise he deals in), and he is always a superhumanly kind-hearted old gentleman who ‘trots’ to and fro, raising his employees’ wages, patting children on the head, getting debtors out of jail and in general, acting the fairy godmother… Even Dickens must have reflected occasionally that anyone who was so anxious to give his money away would never have acquired it in the first place.
Orwell also tells us in another marvellous piece, entitled Why Socialists Don't Believe In Fun that ‘A Christmas Carol… was read to Lenin on his deathbed and according to his wife, he found its “bourgeois sentimentality” completely intolerable’. Presumably, he wasn’t much taken by the economics either.
A recent compilation of fascinating information and surveys proves more fun than Christmas Cracker jokes, as well as an enlightening insight into costs and customs surrounding the feast.
When grandfather mournfully mentioned that he was lucky if he found anything more than an apple and an orange in his stocking, his grandson replied: ‘Cool Grandad, a computer and a mobile phone’.