is reported that Mr Ebenezer Scrooge, merchant of this Parish, has let it be known that Christmas this year will be much reduced in both its size, and, more importantly, in its expense, and that can only be for the betterment of mankind.
In support of this assertion, he cites the many shortcomings that will befall this festive season, many already reported by this august publication. The likes of poultry and game, pork in its many guises, and amusements for the children.
Mr Scrooge declares, “If small girls desire a little pony, then let them be sent to the mines where they may become acquainted with many such animals. And boys that crave the most recent game of warfare, let them take the Queen’s shilling and have their fill of mortal combat. And what are we to make of hanging a stocking upon the mantel in the hope of receiving gifts from some imagined jolly benefactor? The very idea. Far better, and more profitable for the household, that they be handed a brush and sweep the chimney clean.”
This most parsimonious Gentleman also decries the need for large roasted fowl upon the Christmas table. “In the absence of such extravagance I suggest a simple bowl of gruel. These years past I have found such to be amply sustaining and always readily available. “
Touching upon the subject of the ‘Christmas spirit’, Mr Scrooge became far more animated in his voice and gesture. “Humbug! I have experienced at first hand this Spirit and much good it did me. A thoroughly unpleasant experience where for a moment I was encouraged to enter fully into this seasonal folly and lavish largesse upon all and sundry. Thankfully I was able to regain my senses and put the whole distasteful business behind me, but not before I had spent far more than any man in his right mind should feel obliged to.”