Fellow Passengers to the Grave

In Stave One of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” Ebenezer Scrooge is confronted by his nephew Fred who comes to his office on Christmas Eve to invite him to dinner at his house on Christmas Day. Mr. Scrooge rebuffs his nephew’s invitation rudely expressing his opinion that Christmas is a “humbug” or something not worthy of his attention. In reaction, Fred embarks on a diatribe expressing his opinion to the contrary. Specifically he says,

… I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.  And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

It goes without saying that Mr. Scrooge remained unconvinced by Fred’s argument that Christmas was in fact worthy of his uncle’s attention. Scrooge would have none of it. Fred might as well have been trying to convince his uncle to join Scentsy.

After some back and forth Fred eventually left his uncle’s office unsuccessful in his attempt to get him to accept his invitation. He left, however, in a state of good humor which is of course Fred’s nature. Later, Mr. Scrooge leaves his office for his home where he will eventually have a date with destiny. No gentle reader, he does not join Scentsy but he just might end up joining the human race.