A few days ago we finished reading the unabridged story of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Last weekend, we were watching Twas' the Night Before Good Eats in which Dickens ghost shows up and teaches Alston Brown about Christmas in his time. (It'll be on again Monday and Tuesday!)
One thing they mentioned was that the Cratchit family probably belong to a Goose Club. A Goose Club was where a worker contributed part of his weekly wages to a local "club" to reserve a goose for the family on Christmas. The following interesting explanation is from this Learning English site:
Around Victorian times another traditional Christmas feast was roasted goose or roasted turkey. In Victorian times, most Londoners would have been familiar with the "goose club", which was a method of saving to buy a goose for Christmas. Goose clubs were popular with working-class Londoners, who paid a few pence a week towards the purchase of a Christmas goose. The week before Christmas, London meat markets were crammed with geese and turkeys, many imported from Germany and France, although some were raised in Norfolk, and taken to market in London. The birds were walked from Norfolk to the markets in London, to protect their feet the turkeys were dressed in boots made of sacking or leather and geese had their feet protected with a covering of tar. The traditional Christmas goose was featured in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'.
To continue with our "Dickens Christmas" theme, we read Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectiations by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema. It is a wonderful book describing Dickens life. Alex LOVES Dickens and is ready to read another book by this great author!
Update: Another great book about Dickens is Stand Up, Mr. Dickens: A Dickens Anthology. This book goes back and forth with a chapter about Dickens life written by Edward Blishen followed by a long excerpt from one of his novels. Books excerpted from include: Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol, Dombey & Son, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations.