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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Knight Carol

Samuel Adams used to brew at Christmas beer called “Old Fezziwig Ale.” (I'm sure that there were/are others with a similar theme). One reviewer called it the “Christmas cookie of beer.” Evidently is was bursting with spices of the season and a remarkably full body (toffee, caramel, chocolate notes, with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel). Now, that sounds like a pretty tasty holiday recipe.

A recipe for holiday joy that Lady Suzanne and the girls have enjoyed over the years is listening to the 1930s Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater (“War of the World” fame) Dickens “A Christmas Carol” staring Welles and Lionel Barrymore. I bet that Orson would have made a great Knight!

It’s the perfect length from the time we pull onto the highway to the second we pull in to Momaw’s house 50 miles away.

One of the great festive characters is, of course, Old Fezziwig.

From A Christmas Carol (edited for length)

The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door, and asked Scrooge if he knew it.

“Know it.” said Scrooge. “Was I apprenticed here.”

They went in. At sight of an old gentleman, Scrooge cried in great excitement: “Why, it's old Fezziwig. Bless his heart; it's Fezziwig alive again.”

“Yo ho, my boys.” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve.

There were dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer.

When the clock struck eleven, this domestic ball broke up. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side of the door, and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas.

During the whole of this time, Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. His heart and soul were in the scene, and with his former self. “A small matter,” said the Ghost,” to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.”

“Small.” echoed Scrooge.

“Why. Is it not. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise.”

“It isn't that,” said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. “It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.” He felt the Spirit's glance, and stopped.

“What is the matter.” asked the Ghost.

Scrooge said, “I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. That's all.” (end)

What a great lesson for all Knights: Scrooge was able to transform the destiny of his life by making a new choice. A choice to be an “Old Fezziwig” and live on purpose with love in his heart for his fellowman. And he was able to do so in the blink of a decision.

Sir Bowie “hoping to always be an “Old Fezziwig” vs. an “old Scrooge” of Greenbriar


  1. I like the sound of that Beer...sounds like one of our Jubilee Ales... yummy...

    Nothing like a timely reminder of Scrooge to tempt the Christmas Spirit forward..

    I am always Bah Humbug till about a few days before Christmas...because my business needs to be earning money up until close of play Friday. Then come this weekend the partying will start....and the shops will look that much more Dickensian and Christmassy...woohoo..then it will be wrapping presents and cooking all those things that you only eat at Christmas ( mince Pies, Figgy Pudding and brandy Snaps filled with cream. )
    I'll see how many pounds i can put on this year...:)

    Sir Dayvd ( maybe get a Cheap flight to PA usa too ) of Oxfordshire

  2. Driving through the ice and snow in Ohio continues to build the Christmas Spirit for me after my Whitehouse Retreat.

    Yes, Orson would have enjoyed our Merry Band. As to Ole' Fizziwig, I've always acted like him, but now I'm starting to look like him thanks to my fondness of Ale.

    Time to take Ole Fizziwig down to the Dublin Village Tavern and deliver their KMSA Sacred Watering Hole Plaque and supply of Coasters!

    Now proudly displayed at McGrath's and Old Chicago.

    Sir Hook the Dancing Ale Barrel of Warrick