My favorite story of all time is Charles Dickens’ 1843 A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I hear some of you groaning. But hear me out. Have you read the book? While there is sentiment, there is also a brutal portrayal of the times. The themes of selfishness and redemption transcend generations. Dickens balances light and dark beautifully, which helps make the payoff so great.
Because of some overly sentimental versions the story is often dismissed. That is a mistake. Dickens condemns the London of Ebenezer Scrooge as he tells the story of redemption. Some of these scenes are difficult to watch (or read), and they are often cut. I am thinking specifically of the scene that Marley shows Scrooge of the ghosts who have lost the power for good, and are condemned to walk the earth powerless to help. Or the two children (Ignorance and Want) that the Ghost of Christmas Present has under his robe. Or Old Joe…
Knowing that I love this story (and I do) I have set up my own December Challenge. To write about a different version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL every day. Think that is impossible? I have a dozen DVDs sitting here right now that give me a good head start on the project.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the daily offerings. The Christmas Carol Challenge 2010 begins tomorrow–see you then!