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Reading Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" to My Children explaining a Christmas carol to children

Updated on November 24, 2014

Christmas tree.


Authors note

This sketch is about trying to read Charles Dickens book, "A Christmas Carol" to my two children.

The incident never really happened but I thought it had the ring of truth and that some young parents out there might enjoy it.

Explaining a Christmas Carol to children

For parents it can be frustrating to explain to children a simple story.

Charles Dickens. Picture in public domain in U.S, Found on Wikimedia.
Charles Dickens. Picture in public domain in U.S, Found on Wikimedia.

Reading a Christmas Carol

“Old Marley was as dead as a door nail.”

“What’s a doornail/?” my seven-year-old daughter asked.

“Well, a doornail is…” I started to explain.

“Geez, your dumb, Elise,” eleven year old Mark declared…

“I’m not either dumb. Mom says dumb means you can’t talk.”

“Well, you sure like to talk,” Mark grumbled.

“Do you guys want to hear this story or don’t you?” I said.

“Yes…” Mark hissed. “If dum-dum stops interrupting.”

“She’s interested in words,” I offered, hoping to pacify the situation.

“You can say that again,” Mark said.

I started over. “Marley was dead…”

“Dad,” Elise tugged at my sleeve.


“You didn’t answer my question.”

“What question?”

“About the doornail.”

“Geez Elise. Quit asking dumb question’” Mark chimed in.

“It’s not a dumb question, “Elise declared. “ I bet you don’t know what it is.”

“Sure I do”

“Well what is it?” she challenged.

“Don’t you know anything?” Mark countered.

I dug out the dictionary and read, “a large headed nail formerly used for strengthening or ornamenting doors.”

“Who cares about that?” Elise said.


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    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thank you for commenting,ps. I think when the kids were young, I had a hard time getting their attention. Maybe, even now.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Short, sweet, and to the point. Sometimes we just like to ask questions and don't even care what the answer is...

      How fun that was!!

      Angels are once again on the way ps

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Thanks for commenting. Even my grandchildren are past this stage now.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This was cute. Kids are so funny. Thanks for sharing this delightful dialogue.

    • Ralph Thorndyke profile image

      Ralph Thorndyke 

      5 years ago from Oxford Alabama

      I just posted a new Hub and down at the bottom your hub was featured. I can see why.... ... You might be marginally interested in my article there about "A Christmas Carol."


    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I'm glad you are enjoying it. Well, I guess you are viewing it from the other side now. Thanks for reading it and commenting.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Even if this particular conversation never happened, I'm sure there were similar ones between me and Mark.

      I like these hubs with the family history. It's interesting to read your perspective of events I remember - course I never thought about how your perspective might be different than mine!

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      There is snow predicted for tomorrow. It has been raining most of the fall season so it has not been the pleasant weather I like for autumn. Not much in the way of fall leaves this year.I grew up in Minneapolis and have lived in the Midwest most of my life. We had planned to go to visit some relatives in Leaky. Texas for Thanksgiving but some health problems interfered. We will go later. I like the idea of Texas but don't really know it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We actually lived in Grand Rapids outside of Wisconsin Rapids. At that time it had about 2,000 people living there. Many people that we knew from those days have either moved or have already died...however, we are still in touch with one of our neighbors from when we lived there. I also have rocks in our garden from those neighbor's parent's farm that got moved back to Houston with us! I love rocks and collect them from all over. Even did a hub about it. :)

      I'll admit, I prefer the warmer winters in the South but DO miss the gorgeous Fall leaves. And those first snows that are so white and pristine are really beautiful.

      Is it snowing yet up there? I think every Thanksgiving we could count on some of it dusting (or blanketing) the ground.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for the comment. Although I never actually read stories to the kids, it seems like I must have had similar conversations with them.

      Rapids is not a bad town, but if it were not for family, I would prefer a warmer climate.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This was cute and like you said...most parents or caretakers of children can easily relate to that type of dialogue.

      Would you believe we lived in Wisconsin Rapids in the mid to late 1970's! My husband worked for Butler Paper Company at that time in the corporate office.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for the comment.I wrote it on impulse a long time ago,however I think most parent who have or have had small children can identify with it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago



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