Hoodwinked by Dickens, Charmed by Scrooge

Charles John Huffam Dickens rise to fame came from a serial publication called The Pickwick Papers in March of 1836, skyrocketing him to international literary celeb status a few years later. Seven years after The Pickwick Papers his novella “A Christmas Carol” was born and went on to long-standing and still-standing popularity.

The energy around the holidays coupled with tidings of good cheer, a roaring fire or a lit tree, a comfy blanket on top a sofa nestled with the Christmas classic makes the season complete. But don’t forget the punch or eggnog for some.

At first glance, it appears to be a dark haunting of a bitter man (Ebeneezer Scrooge), who counters with “Bah humbug” whenever someone mentions Christmas or greets him with Merry Christmas. “Who would say such a thing about the most cheeriest holiday?” a small child says.

Upon further review, it becomes more festive with the past, present and future visits from the spirits and realizations, and then in the end–the laughter and joy of having time to change his evil ways. Oh, no! He dashes from his bed and starts the journey of charming his way back into the world where he was once happy. Charming indeed, that Ebeneezer Scrooge has charmed his way into the lives and homes of the masses. Thank you Mr. Dickens!

The first film adaptation was a short British film version in 1901, titled: Scrooge or Marley’s Ghost. And in 1938 Reginald Owen starred in the first “talkie”  silver screen production of A Christmas Carol. I favor the one w/Alastair Sim and of course the stage play production put on by The Goodman Theatre every year. This year marks the 35th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol at The Chicago Goodman Theatre.

What’s your favorite part of A Christmas Carol? Will you and your’s be watching it or going to see it this holiday season?

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Holiday Cheer-less

The rush for holiday events has arrived. And with it comes the mundane tasks of plotting and planning parties, decor, meals, entertaining visiting guests and family, etc. Each detail meticulous, down to how many pecans and walnuts needed to make the perfect fruit and nut basket. And the questions…Who will we sit Aunt Martha with this year since she drank a whole bottle of wine, with several vodka chasers, fell out with EVERYBODY last year and still plans to show up? Do we have enough fresh linens? And so on.

There isn’t enough Cherry Maalox and Pepto-Bismol on the planet to fix the uneasy stomachs that some people get around the holidays. Opt for a solo season behind closed doors, bottle of spirits in one hand and clicker in the other? Nod and smile at the table? Engage in idle chatter?

What tips do you have to help readers get through the stresses of the holidays?