by Robert Mason Jr.
I haven’t seen “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” Released in 2017, the movie is based on a book by the same name and follows the six weeks in 1843 when Charles Dickens wrote the novella, or Victorian morality tale, we know today as The Christmas Carol.
The first edition published on December 19 sold out by Christmas Eve and by the end of 1844, another 12 editions were released, so Dickens enjoyed some success with the book as well as subsequent public readings.
Relatively speaking, the book has been credited with inspiring several Christmas traditions including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and generosity, as well as the popularity of such terms as Merry Christmas, Bah Humbug! and Scrooge.
We’ve all heard the story, adaptations, variations or thematic works featuring Ebenezer Scrooge, or a character of his likeness, visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and challenged by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
In fact, according to Google, “A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted many times for film, stage, opera and other media.”
We’re talking thousands of versions in print, on stage, on the big screen, on the home screen, on the radio, even on hand-held media devices.
Now we’ll skip all the political and socio-economic analysis of the book and fast-forward to the entertainment value. It’s that time of year, time to sit back and watch The Christmas Carol. You can find a version at the library, the rental box or your digital flicks source, or a rerun on the television.
Hold it. You’re going to need some popcorn. Before you hit the start button, pop over to Northern Neck Popcorn Bag, 50 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock, and pick from a passel of holiday seasonal favorites.
Among the specialty flavors you’ll find The Grinch, Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Mocha, Cranberries in the Snow, Gingerbread Man, Holiday Mix and Elf Munch. Among the candy flavors, you’ll find Candy Cane, Egg Nog and Ginger Snap.
I’m partial to The Grinch, which is a mint chocolate delight, and the Ginger Snap, which is self-explanatory. And you gotta have some Movie Theatre Butter.
Now, forget all about the hustle and bustle, and dive into The Christmas Carol. The choices are endless.
Classic films include:
• Scrooge, 1901, with Daniel Smith as Ebenezer Scrooge.
• Scrooge, 1935, with Seymour Hicks.
• A Christmas Carol, 1938, with Reginald Owen.
• Scrooge, 1951, with Alastair Sim.
• A Christmas Carol, 1984, with George C. Scott, TV.
• A Christmas Carol, 1999, with Patrick Stewart, TV.
• A Christmas Carol, 2012, with Vincent Fegan.
• Scrooge, 1970, with Albert Finney.
• The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992, with the Muppets.
• A Diva’s Christmas Carol, 2000, with Vanessa Williams, TV.
• A Christmas Carol, 2004, with Kelsey Grammer, TV.
Animated films include:
• A Christmas Carol, 1971, with Alastair Sim.
• Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1983, with Disney characters.
• The Flintstones Christmas Carol, 1994, Fred Flintstone and the Bedrock gang, TV/DVD.
• An All Dogs Christmas Carol, 1998, TV/video.
• Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas, 2006, with Daffy Duck and the Looney Tunes gang, DVD.
• A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Ghostly Tale, 2006, with Tim Bentinck, DVD.
• Barbie, in a Christmas Carol, 2008, with Barbie and friends, DVD.
• A Christmas Carol, 2009, Disney 3D with Jim Carrey.
• The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, 2011, with George Lopez, DVD.
Animated musicals include:
• Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, 1962, with Mr. Magoo, TV.
• A Christmas Carol, 1997, with Tim Curry.
Modern interpretations include:
• An American Christmas Carol, 1979, with Henry Winkler, TV.
• Scrooged, 1988, with Bill Murray.
• Ebbi, 1995, with Susan Lucci, TV.
• Ms. Scrooge, 1997, with Cicely Tyson, TV.
• A Carol Christmas, 2003, with Tori Spelling, TV.
• Chasing Christmas, 2006, with Tom Arnold.
• Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, 2009, with Matthew McConaughey.
Ebenezer, 1998, with Jack Palance, TV.
That’s just a partial list. And I still want to see The Man Who Invented Christmas.
“And so, as Tiny Tim observed, ‘God bless us, every one!'”