Originally posted 2015-12-16 20:00:09.
For this month’s challenge from Books and Cupcakes, we’re focusing on Children’s books, and some of my earliest literary memories as a kid involve this story:
From the infamous opening line: “Marley was dead to begin with.” to the closing: “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” it is a story that has been read, parodied, filmed, painted, sung… etc. I remember watching “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and the “Muppet’s Christmas Carol” and seeing my Uncle play the Ghost of Christmas Present in “Christmas Carol: The Musical” ( Yes, it really does exist! ) Although my favorite to date is “A Christmas Carol” with George C. Scott playing Scrooge. My father read it to me and my little sisters around Christmastime for a few years, although recently we just watch the movies and try to stay awake through the quiet parts (until Ghost of Christmas Present shows up- then we’re all jolted awake by his booming presence).
But all of the films, all of the songs, the parodies, the “Bah, Humbug!” Christmas lights, echo back to the original novel from 1843. I’m currently working on reading through it again, and although the characters are the same: Scrooge, Marley, the ghosts, Cratchit, Tiny Tim, etc. It is definitely a Dickens novel with his style and immense attention to detail. It is nice to read it at a slower pace, take in all the subtleties of characters and their interactions. The version I’m reading also includes the original illustrations and images like this:
“Snapdragon” by Charles Keene
The Illustrated London News, 1858
Apparently, Snapdragon is a game where everyone would stand in a dark room around a shallow trough of raisins covered in alcohol- then they lit the alcohol on fire and let the kids try to snatch burning raisins out of the flames! (If this was still a thing, I know my middle school students would be all over it!)
But in all seriousness, A Christmas Carol is a holiday classic, a literary classic, and pretty much set the stage for a whole slew of “Rediscovering the Christmas Spirit” stories which at this point may as well be a trope which I will explore again on the 23rd! Until then, enjoy your holiday season and God Bless Us, Every One!