"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is!" said Scrooge's nephew. "He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it nevertheless. Uncle Scrooge!"
This stave, with the ghost of Christmas Present, is definitely my favorite in the book so far. I laughed at Scrooge's surprise over the sheer size of the giant spirit. Their initial meeting was described so beautifully by Dickens with all of the Christmas decorations. Plus, all of the food made me hungry. I have to admit that I have no idea what some of the food is, though. I've heard of mince pie but I've never had it and don't know what is in it. And I have no idea what a twelfth-night cake is, either. Apparently, I need to do a bit of research here.
Another thing that I adore about this stave is that Scrooge gets a great look at how people all over are celebrating Christmas. I don't recall the Ghost of Christmas Present giving Scrooge the tour that took him to fisherman's boats and many other places in any of the movie versions I've seen.
It's enlightening, I believe, for Scrooge to witness the Christmas celebrations of the Cratchitt's and his nephews. I really don't think he ever thought of either man as actually having any sort of fulfilling life. He is shown that they do indeed have lives away from the small bit of space encompassed by him; and that they are rich in a way he can't understand because they have people to love and be loved by.
I feel that the Ghost of Christmas Present helps Scrooge to turn a corner within himself moreso than the Ghost of Christmas Past. I love the end of the stave with the 'children' of Ignorance and Want. The fear that Scrooge begins to feel once again is palpable. Especially with the fact that there is no lag time between Spirits. I like that the Third Spirit is there right away.