I grew up on the 1951 Alastair Sims version and thought it was scary. When a copy of the Dickens book came to me I read it and reread it. I loved the words, the characters, the luscious descriptions of the Christmas feasts, the fun of the Fezziwigs, and the fact that people can change. Dickens laid out Christmas traditions that I grew up with–caroling, turkey dinner, opening presents, a procession of desserts at Christmas dinner, and being generous to all.
When the 1984 TV version aired, I was there to watch George C. Scott and claimed this version as my favorite. The production values, the settings, the acting, and the visual depiction of what Dickens gave us in words. Then came Patrick Stewart in the 1999 version. To me, his depiction of Scrooge was the most three dimensional, showing the character’s changes in the past, present, and future.
Two poignant and memorable scenes. The aging Ghost of Christmas Present is sheltering two emaciated grotesque but tragically sad children, who are clinging under his robes, almost completely hidden. He names the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. “Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
The ending scene shows Scrooge welcoming Bob Crachit’s family to his home “(He) knew how to keep Christmas well.” Ebenezer Scrooge changes to “as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.”
Have to include a website that kept me at this blog far longer and made this an even more enjoyable time than I had planned. Read more: Christmas According to Dickens by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts
Ethel Lee-Miller is a Tucson writer and author who blogs pretty regularly and every day during Christmastime.