Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Preview…I’d like to ask you to take a moment to visualize Christmas. What do you think about when you envision this warm holiday season? Do you see yourself attending church service and exalting the birth of a savior? Do you think of gift-giving, cookie-baking and swanky holiday parties? Do you recall special family traditions of your own? Maybe you do not celebrate Christmas, due to conflicts of faith or some other reason. Whatever the case, I firmly believe that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some rendition of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”. Do you know that over 55 film and television adaptations have been made of this book that is roughly only 50 pages itself? How many of the adaptations have you seen? I’ve probably seen close to 10 myself, but it wasn’t until last December that I realized as much as I know and love the story, I had never read the book!
What makes Dickens’s classic so universal and such an important part of Christmas? Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and, of course, Tiny Tim show us what love, happiness and charity mean. Even if we are never visited by three merry spirits, we can still reflect on our own pasts, presents and futures to better understand ours mistakes, our triumphs and ultimately ourselves. Although this novel is inexorably wrapped up within the holiday season, its message and themes could be just as potent were there to take place at any other time of the year. Its association with Christmas helped get the word out and maybe encouraged us to perform a few extra good deeds for our fellow man than we otherwise would have had we never read “A Christmas Carol”.
You may like this book if… you have ever seen any film or television adaptation of the novel, you have seen countless screen adaptations and would like to know which elements from which films are original to the storyline and which are invented, you would like to motivate your children to read a great book (related to their desire to see the new Jim Carrey rendition perhaps), you like a quick read, you enjoy stories that have contributed so much to pop culture and to Christmas as we know it
You may not like this book if… you are sick and tired of the ubiquity of “A Christmas Carol”, you are angered or saddened by the holiday season altogether, you prefer to keep Christmas 100% about the birth of Jesus