Christmas with Mr. Pickwick

by Charles Dickens

It was a very pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick in the centre of the group, now pulled this way, and then that, and first kissed on the chin and then on the nose, and then on the spectacles, and to hear the peals of laughter which were raised on every side; but it was a still more pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick blinded shortly afterwards with a silk-handkerchief, falling up against the wall, and scrambling into corners, and going through all the mysteries of blind-man’s buff, with the utmost relish for the game, until at last he caught one of the poor relations; and then-had to evade the blind-man himself, which he did with a nimbleness and agility that elicited the admiration and applause of all beholders.

The poor relations caught just the people whom they thought would like it; and when the game flagged, got caught themselves. When they were all tired of blindman’s buff, there was a great game at snap-dragon, and when fingers enough were burned with that, and the raisins gone, they sat down by the huge fire of blazing logs to a substantial supper, and a mighty bowl of wassail, something smaller than an ordinary wash-house copper, in which the hot apples were hissing and bubbling with a rich look, and a jolly sound, that were perfectly irresistible. .

Up flew the bright sparks in myriads as the logs were stirred, and the deep red blaze sent forth a rich glow, that penetrated into the furthest corner of the room, and cast its cheerful tint on every face.