We Still Need a Little Christmas…and we desperately need Charles Dickens’ reminder to be a good human being in 2021 and beyond.
Living through this pandemic and seeing what I see daily on social media convinced me (do people really need to be so nasty to others, even if you disagree on things?????) that I needed to do what I could to help promote charity and goodwill. Additionally, I’ve weathered a hip replacement and continuing SI-Joint issues that leave me in pain, and honestly, I just needed to distract myself with something pleasant. So, all summer I wrote the continuation of Ebenezer Scrooge’s story called From Humbug to Humble: The Transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Writing this book put me in a happy place and gave me such joy; I loved imagining how Scrooge spent the rest of his days after he came in contact with the ghosts. It was wonderful mental therapy, for sure.
MORE ABOUT WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been pleasantly obsessed with Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol. Our family has loved this classic tale, and year after year, we hunker down and watch at least one—sometimes several—film depictions of Dickens’ great novella.
Now, add to the fact that I’ve read several of Dickens’ novels, took a course in Dickens in graduate school, have seen A Christmas Carol twice at Ford’s Theatre, am a writer myself, and have a Dickens Village that we display every holiday season, and you’ve got the makings of a overzealous fan. One of my biggest regrets in life is not having enough time to visit the Dickens Museum while in London.
This obsession led me to write (humbly) a follow-up novel to Dickens’ wonderful classic. Released in November and available exclusively at Park Books & Literacy Lab in Severna Park, or online via Amazon or Barnes & Noble, From Humbug to Humble is the rest of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. In this book, I’ve tried my best to answer the questions that have plagued my family for years: What exactly did Scrooge do to make his life and the lives of others better? Did Scrooge ever find love? What became of Tiny Tim? And how did he live out the rest of his life? This short novella was a labor of love for me, and I wouldn’t have attempted it without the encouragement of my family.
Therefore, as a connoisseur of Dickens’ brilliant work, and as the lesson of “The Carol” is still vitally important today, I thought I’d share with you the best film versions (again, in my humble opinion) of A Christmas Carol that you can watch with your family this holiday season.
CHEER, CHEER…GIVE US SOME CHRISTMAS CHEER
MY FAVORITE FILM VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Scrooge, starring Albert Finney as Scrooge and Alec Guiness as Marley (1970)
This was the film that made me fall in love with Dickens. Watching it with my mom and dad year after year, Albert Finney was Ebenezer Scrooge to me. Though this is a musical (don’t let that deter you…there are a few songs that are super catchy, and you’ll find yourself humming them all day long), it doesn’t take away from the story. In fact, my cousin Tom and I recently discovered we both share an affinity for this film. We both admitted to each other that we shed a tear every year while watching the final scene. Plus, the sets are gorgeous and the choreography is fantastic.
A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott (1984)
According to critics, this version is very true to the book. George C. Scott plays Scrooge so well; he is perfect as the miserly curmudgeon. The supporting characters are wonderful—especially the ghost of Christmas present—and again, you’ll enjoy the sets that work perfectly. This version is also relatively short, so if you’re pressed for time, this version is for you.
A Christmas Carol, starring Alastair Sim (1951)
If you prefer to watch a black and white rendition of A Christmas Carol, Alastair Sim plays a very convincing Scrooge, and some critics say he’s the best. In fact, it’s been written that Sim and company created “what many today believe to be the best and most faithful production of Dickens’ immortal tale,” according to reviewers.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Disney (1983)
Though my kids are both in college, we still like to break out Mickey’s Christmas Carol every once in a while to relive their childhood Christmas memories of watching this classic animated short film. You’ll love Disney’s retelling of Dickens’ classic, starring all of your favorite characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy and more! It’s a heartwarming short version (26 minutes) of A Christmas Carol to share with the whole family.
Finally, if your love for Scrooge is on par with mine (not only should we have coffee, but we should probably throw a Dickens party), you may enjoy watching…
The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017), starring Dan Stevens (Matthew from Downton Abbey who stars as Charles Dickens) & Christopher Plummer (Ebenezer Scrooge)
This film is a biographical comedy/drama that is based on the book by Les Standiford. The film follows Dickens as he creates, writes, and then publishes A Christmas Carol in 1843 in a few short weeks. It is quirky, well-acted, and delightful. Dickens fans will relish this adorable movie as Dickens writes the book and his cast of characters come to life. It will make you want to reread A Christmas Carol for the hundredth time. Five stars for “absolutely charming.
Happy Christmas Carol to you all. 🙂