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The other day, I watched “A Christmas Carol” with a dear friend. (OK, it was “A Christmas Carol” as acted by Muppets.)

For some reason, I tried to imagine it being the first time I had heard the story. The subject matter is as old as time, but the way Dickens tells it is original — even though now, nearly 170 years and countless retellings later, it seems familiar to us from an early age.

It’s not a poem, but its impact on popular culture, including poetry, speaks to Dickens’ talent. There’s a little Scrooge in every Christmas villain — even that Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Download it for free on Project Gutenberg, or read it on the site. My Christmas wish for you is for everything familiar to seem new and fresh to you this year.

Like this old poem, “Happy Holidays,” says,

The winter would seem long … and drear
Without the magic Christmas cheer.

Happy Christmas Eve!

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