My Christmas day read: Mrs Scrooge: a Christmas Tale

Carol Ann Duffy, Mrs Scrooge: a Christmas Tale (Picador, London, 2008).

An enchanting masterpiece of Christmas poetry from the Poet Laureate. Ebenezer Scrooge's widow stands outside Marley's supermarket, protesting against cruel turkey farming practices, consumerism and waste while shoppers shove their trolleys past her, shouting, 'Spoilsport!'

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come visit her in her chilly home where she huddles in bed, dressed in Scrooge's old pyjamas, with Catchit the cat. The visits reveal to her the value of friendships well tended, the love of little things and the appreciation of every blessing and gift, however small.

This modern-day Christmas parable treads a careful path between the 'bah, humbug' of condemning today's mindless Christmas consumer-fest and a thoughtful reflection on the virtues that grow from a disposition of peace and goodwill. Just right for the fireside with a warm mince pie...

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