Classics Club: December Meme

The Classics Club's December question is remarkably specific!

What is your favorite memory of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Have you ever read it? If not, will you? Why should others read it rather than relying on the film adaptions?

I have read A Christmas Carol a couple of times, and I've read it aloud to my kids.  It's not that easy for kids to understand the story, actually, unless they're older; Dickens uses a lot of circumlocutions and fancy words like circumlocutions. The story has several wonderful depictions of domestic life in Victorian times, but that life was so different from ours, and contained so many now-disused words, that it's not an easy story for children.

I do think people should read it, of course, but to be honest I've preferred a couple of the film versions.   It's a story that is naturally suited to film--if Dickens had been around for the 20th century, I bet he would have made this a movie!  He was so dramatic anyway.  I usually prefer for kids to read books before they see the movies, but in this case I'm OK with doing it the other way around.

I like two Christmas Carol films.  The 1951 version that everyone likes, with Alastair Sim (look, the whole thing is on Youtube, and beautifully clear), and the Muppet Christmas Carol, which is really wonderfully done.  Oh, and Blackadder's Christmas Carol, of course, but I'm not sure that counts!



  1. I so agree that Dickens would have gotten into film, if he'd lived in our era. I so often think, "I was born in the wrong era," meaning I should have been born in the past. I wonder how many people in the past would have preferred to live now? (Obviously, I like living now, too though. Because I'd dislike suddenly no longer existing, since the 1800s are over!) :P

  2. I often think that the best way to experience this book was probably to see Dickens read it. He was so theatrical! It's definitely a story that lends itself to a dramatic, visual telling.

  3. A lot of them, I bet! Especially the ones who got diphtheria. I sometimes think like you, too, but them I remember I would have just died in childbirth...

  4. This is the second Christmas my children have asked me to read A Christmas Carol to them. We just finished last week.

    Last year I also took them to see a play version, which helped to cement the memory, even if they do not understand everything.

    And today we are actually going to see an actor perform all 46 characters by himself at our local library.

    The more they are exposed to it, even in different forms, the more they love it b/c it becomes a part of them.

    P.S. They also asked me to get a film version. So thank you for your suggestions.

  5. hi Jean! i saw several versions and spin-offs before i read the book. nothing beats the original novel of course although i agree with you that it's not an easy one for children to read.

  6. I suppose the themes in the novel, ( I remember vaguely) being suitable for kids as well will do well played or acted out on screen. But then, reading a novel and then watchign the film later can clarify certain aspects better, though that will also depend on the directing etc.

  7. I'm not as well-versed in movie renditions of the story as you are! I know I must have seen some when I was a child, but I can't remember ever seeing a full-length movie of it.

    My December meme


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