Oh, Chuck, where would our holiday season be without you and your Christmas Carol
brand of uplifting sentiments? Who among us doesn't want to believe that folks are truly good inside, despite their tough exteriors? Why, only the Scrooges don't have faith, and these folks especially should head out to the Dickens Festival
, held at Gateway Christian Church (1951 Des Peres Road, Town & Country; 314-821-2156 or www.gccstl.org
). This Christmas fun-fest centers around a Victorian village, which brings to life scenes from Charles Dickens' stories. On Thursday, December 14, a musical version of A Christmas Carol
is presented at 7 p.m. (the village closes at 9 p.m.); the festival continues from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (December 15 through 17), and it closes with an encore presentation of the play on Sunday at 7 p.m. But free Dickensian merriment is not all there is to cure your grouchiness ills: You can also run around in the Christmas-tree maze, and if that doesn't work, there are always the puppet shows, crafts and more than 100 Nativity scenes throughout the village. In other words, if you're Scrooged out upon your arrival, your heart will have changed by the time you leave, just as if the ghosts had actually visited you.