Monday, December 06, 2010

Getting acquainted with Charles

Peter and I have a tradition of reading the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens out loud every year during the Christmas season. It is a jewel of a story. You should read it if you haven't! It is clever, lively and so, so charming. But the nicest thing is that it is short (ours is less than 80 pages) so you can get through it relatively quickly. I hope to write more about family traditions sometime soon because I've been thinking a lot about ones that I'd like for us to have.

Anyways, obviously we're including John in our tradition as well. He was introduced to Charles during last year's reading- he was present in utero. We've only read one chapter this year when we were on a car trip recently. John was awake and not crying so I assume he was absorbed in the story.

At this point you might think this post is about books or reading. How wrong you are! It's actually about how we drove down to Galveston on Saturday to go to Dickens on The Strand. An annual Christmas festival in the town. Since he is a favorite author and we are enjoying one of his stories now we thought it would be only fitting to go. It was a fun day but, you know, everything at festivals is exorbitantly priced so the only the we could afford was the $7 Kettle corn. Yes, $7. I didn't see anyone playing the character of Charles Dickens himself but we did meet:

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Not St. Nick, mind you, because he does look like St. Nick but he is not.) and a Victorian lady.

Some other Victorian people and...

Queen Victoria herself! And Prince Albert!

It was great fun. Since the Renaissance Festival is big around here, it seems that Shakespeare gets all the glory. I'm glad Dickens has his day in the sun too. (Though, I speculate that many of the people there had not even read A Christmas Carol because I heard them referring to The Ghost of Christmas Present as Santa Claus! Both are large and jolly so I can see how the mistake might be made. But that is a poor excuse for a true Dickens fan!). Now what we really need in the area is a Jane Austen festival. Am I right?

We said that we wanted to go to Dickens on the Strand at least once while we still live in the area. I don't know if we'll go again. But wouldn't it be so cute if we went next year and I dressed John up as Tiny Tim?!? Though, I don't know. He's not so tiny. Something might be lost if Tiny Tim were the size of a linebacker.

(Side note: When I commented that we need a Jane Austen festival in Houston it made me wonder if there is one. I consulted Google and found that there is a Jane Austen society! They hold English country dances near us twice per month. I informed Peter of this and that we should go! He responded as if I'd just told him that I was going to boil him alive in some Christmas pudding. He'll come around. He loves the movie Pride and Prejudice (the 6 hour A&E version, naturally). He even watched it of his own accord before we started dating. And I'm glad he did because that was one of my conditions for marriage. ;o) )


Rachel said...

Peter gets the Husband of the Year Award if he attends the Jane Austen English country dance with you! You guys should totally go!

Anonymous said...

I loved all the pictures of John with the Dickens characters. And I too think it would be great fun to attend anything that has to do with Jane Austen. Go Leslie!!


Peter and Leslie said...

Terry, I emailed the president of the local Jane Austen society to see what things they have going on. I will definitely post if I go to anything interesting! I didn't know you were a big Jane fan. We'll have to discuss books when I'm in town next.

Rachel, I agree going to the dance would merit husband of the year award. But I think he already earned that when he watched upwards of 8 hours of Jane Austen with me while I was in labor with John!