This is the short preface Charles Dickens wrote to accompany A Christmas Carol which was published in one volume on 19 December 1843. The preface alludes to the themes of the supernatural and also the humour contained within the novella.

I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,

C. D.

December, 1843.