In my almost 50 years on this planet, I have seen “A Christmas Carol” at least 50 times. The first version I saw was one of the many movie versions, with Alastair Sim as Scrooge. I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Since that time, I’ve seen many, many film versions – from the 1938 version with Reginald Owen, to the 2009 Disney version with Jim Carrey.
I have seen many, many film actors portray Scrooge, from the aforementioned Sim, Owen and Carrey, to George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart and Albert Finney. Surprisingly, I have never seen either “The Muppet’s Christmas Carol” or “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”, and I have no desire to do so. But, I have seen Bill Murray’s “Scrooged”. I have also seen “A Christmas Carol” as a stage play at the Rep in Kansas City. Excellent work every time I saw it.
My favorite movie versions are the 1951 film with Alastair Sim, and the 1970 musical “Scrooge” with Albert Finney as the Christmas curmudgeon.
My whole point to this post (and there is one, I assure you), is that while I have seen the movies and the play at least 50 times in my life, I came to the realization this year that I had never actually read the original story by Charles Dickens. Odd, don’t you think? I thought so.
Since I work in a library, I have access to almost any book I want. We didn’t have “A Christmas Carol” in our library, so I requested it from another. Since it’s a novella weighing in at a whopping 89 pages (at least in the copy I got), I was able to read it in one sitting.
If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a very brilliant tale. More than the movie versions, the book takes the reader back to 19th century England, and steeps you (the reader) deep in long-ago Old English Christmas traditions. Of course, it’s easier to imagine the scenes if you’ve seen any to the movies.