Discovering Chaplin

“A Christmas Carol” by Charlie Chaplin
Los Angeles Times, December 24, 1916:

Do you know what I envy around Christmas time? Well, it’s the old chap with the long white whiskers. I’d like to be Santa Claus for thirty days once every twelve months. Children are fond of me, but they love Santa Claus with undying affection. 

Every time Christmas comes around and I find myself in this land of sunshine and flowers, instead of knee-deep in snow, I have repinings. I remember Christmas in London in the old days when it was hard scratching for me to get sixpence so that I might see the Christmas pantomime spectacle at Drury Lane, “Jack & the Beanstalk,” “Puss In Boots,” or “Cinderella.” 

Some day, when I get rich enough, I’m going to visit my old home in England made up as Santa Claus with all sorts of presents for all sorts of children, and I’m going to have the waifs follow me round in the snow, singing outside poor people’s windows:

“Good Christians all rejoi–oi-oice,
With heart and soul and voi-oi-oice.”

And then somebody’ll hand me out a mug of mulled ale and I’ll hand in my presents for the kiddies, taken out of an automobile truck, because no reindeer team could haul what I want to take along. 

Say! I’d like a slab of roast beef, that’s been cooked on a spit, and a big helping of old-fashioned plum pudding for my Christmas dinner. Instead of that I’ll get some kind a ragout  and grapefruit salad. Hey!….Camera!

1 Comment

  1. I keep reading that Chaplin did not enjoy Christmas, but in other places I read that he enjoyed listening to his children open their presents from his bedroom in his last years. Maybe it is that his early Christmas memories were not good. Since he died on Christmas day, it is so fitting that there is this mystery of how he felt. Was he overcome with joy on December 25th or dreading another one?

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