Ebeneezer Scrooge Tiny Tim Jacob Marley
Anyone reading those knows immediately from where they come. Of course, it’s Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. It’s instantly familiar to most of us. I was first introduced to the story in 1962 when I was 9. It wasn’t the book, though, it was by way of Mr. Magoo!
I’m guessing most of us Baby Boomers saw the musical special at some point.(Some trivia…it was the first animated Christmas special made for television.)
As the years went by, I watched various versions of “A Christmas Carol”, either as movies or made for television specials.
I was thinking about all these recently. There are lots of theatrical versions this time of year, and I’ve always resisted going to them because I feel I have the story so memorized, there’s really no point in revisiting it.
Then I realized I wasn’t sure if I had ever actually read the story. If so it was many, many years ago. So I decided to actually read “A Christmas Carol”. It helps that it’s in the public domain, so it’s easy to find a free copy. I downloaded it on the Sunday before Christmas and dove it.
What a treat! All the familiar plot elements and characters were there, but reading the story enriched and broadened everything. The descriptions Dickens writes, the dialog, the setting, brim with vividness that works best in the mind’s eye. From the first “Bah, humbug” to the last “God bless us, everyone” I was captivated. Tiny Tim nearly brought me to tears, even though I knew everything would turn out OK. The party scenes were written as though I were actually there. The ghosts are appropriately mysterious and scary, especially Mr. Marley. Scrooge’s turnabout was completely believable and logical.
It was a real pleasure to read, and you can get through it in just a couple of days. I would hardily recommend everyone read it next season and you’ll really get into the Christmas spirit!