Whenever I think of Dickens’s “Christmas Carol” I think not of the book, but of the many movie versions, the best, in my not so humble opinion from reviewing movies for over a decade, is the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. When I think of Dickens, I think not of his Christmas story, but his novels like “A Tale of Two Cities,” “The Pickwick Papers,” “Oliver Twist” or “David Copperfield.”
In 1977 I was at the Dickens house, 48 Doughty Street, in London. It was a three story brick building with a green front door sandwiched between other three story brick buildings. There were no spaces between any of the buildings on the block. In fact up and down the long street were these row houses, I believe they are called. Anyway he lived here from 1837 to 1839. His desk is in the corner of a small room near a window. It was on this desk that he wrote the last two letters before he died and on this desk sat a monkey made of china. Dickens said he could not write unless it was sitting there. Writers are quirky. I find writing easier wearing a Dickens undergarment I took from his laundry hamper. I also visited the Keats house in Hampstead Heath, but like Dickens, was not at home.
The above paragraph is filler, because like Dickens, I get paid by the word. Unlike Dickens, I do not get paid in British pounds, but in peanuts, one peanut per sentence. This is what most writers get paid with, as you know if you are a writer.
Anyway, to the flaw of “Christmas Carol.” Ebenezer Scrooge, the man who coined the delightful phrase in response to being wished a Merry Christmas, “Bah, humbug, ” is not a cheery sort. He is a miserly, mean spirited, bitter, misanthrope. But then at the end of the story after being visited by four ghosts he is a changed man, a lover of humanity, generous to a fault, smiling, happy as a lark (how do we know larks are happy?) and in a very giving mood.
Scrooge had an epiphany. I get that. But I like the old Ebenezer for he mirrors my feelings about Christmas. I fail to see how this perfectly rational man could get all syrupy at the end of the story, so soft in the head, such a sappy old man. Please Ebenezer, go back to you old self.
I used to love Christmas as a kid because I got cool toys. Then you get to high school and there are no toys, only wooden hangers and underwear. Bah, Humbug. Merry Christmas indeed.