A Christmas Carol (1843)
Charles Dickens (writer).
Read in 2020.
Though it’s short enough, Dickens is not at his best here. You get sentences like this one:
But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Read it for its influence on the holiday and other culture, especially the moralistic ghost story.