A Christmas Carol is a book often pulled out this time of year, so why not make it my classic of the month? This has always been my favorite Dickens' book, mostly because it's short and easy to read. But there are other reasons this a classic, which we'll see in a minute.
A Christmas Carol
Ebeneezer Scrooge is a grouchy, hording man who only cares about himself. On the night of Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner, Marley. He says he is sending three ghosts to Scrooge, so he doesn't end up tormented like Marley. One by one, Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Scrooge learns to change his heart and become a better person because of it.
What I Like About It
As I said, I find this one of Dickens easy books to read. You can get it done if a few days without too much trouble. Many of Dickens works are difficult to get through, so it can be refreshing to have something simpler.
Then, of course, there's the message, the thing A Christmas Carol is known for. How we should always have the Christmas spirit in our hearts, and care for other people. Dickens wrote books that opened people's eyes to the realities around them. Child labor, horrible working conditions, and that sort of thing. People being blind is still a problem today, which is why this book is a classic.
The story is excellent too. Dickens food descriptions are enough to make anyone salivate. He neatly weaves the story of Scrooge and the world around him in a way that everyone remembers.
A Christmas Carol has been made into many movies, plays, and other media. I'll just list some of the ones I'm familiar with.
Scrooge (1970)- This version is a musical and stars Albert Finney as Scrooge. He gives a great performance, and the musical numbers are quite catchy. I'd definitely suggest it if you're a fan of musicals.
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)- A classic Disney movie, starring none other than Scrooge McDuck as Scrooge. It's hilarious, and is a great film to introduce kids to the story. The best part, though, has to be Goofy as Marley.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)- I haven't actually seen this one yet, but Muppets and A Christmas Carol? It's got to be good. I think it's on the list of movies to watch this year. Plus it has Michael Caine as Scrooge.
A Christmas Carol (2009)- This is a CG movie made using motion capture as well as animation. It stars Jim Carrey as Scrooge. I've never been a fan of Carrey, but as Scrooge, he's wonderful. (He made a great Count Olaf too.) Although this movie takes some liberties, it is pretty well done. Besides, it has Colin Firth as Fred.
A Christmas Carol (Focus on the Family)- Another marvelous audio drama by Focus on the Family. A great one for kids to listen to in the car or at home.
A Christmas Carol and other Favorites (Jim Weiss)- Jim Weiss is one of our favorite readers. He makes simplified versions of stories, and narrates them to you with voices and sound effects. This CD has A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, and Dick Spindler's Family Christmas.
And, for the geek, be sure to watch the Doctor Who episode, The Unquiet Dead. It has the 9th doctor and Rose, who help Charles Dickens get rid of some aliens that inspire his book.
I think I've covered them all. I suggest any and all of these for your Christmas season.
What do you like about A Christmas Carol? What adaptations do you like? Let me know in the comments.