With its universal message of treating friends, employees and family with respect and kindness, "A Christmas Carol" is one of the best-known vacation stories of all time. The entertaining story weaves masterfully the message of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive all year with an identifiable main character. That there are hundreds of cinematic and scenic adaptations of this story only serve to enhance the reputation of history as a holiday classic.
Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in 1843 and quickly became the most popular book of this holiday season. Dickens sold 6000 copies of the book at Christmas, and the book was so successful that eight stage adaptations were created within two months of publication. To this day, history is one of the most known and popular stories about the Christmas season. There are more than 200 film versions and countless stage productions. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who is not familiar with this Dickens classic in one form or another.
Ebeneezer Scrooge is the main character in "A Christmas Carol". Scrooge was an old man with more money than he could possibly, but he was a solitary miser who refused to share or spend any of his immense fortune. Scrooge receives the visit of three spirits, the past of Christmas, the present and the future, and after these visits he has a revelation. Scrooge comes to realize that spending money for charity and generosity leads to a much more fulfilling life than just covering all one's money. He learns that the true spirit of Christmas follows these principles, and by following them, he can keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year long.
This story was written at a time when working conditions were unfair to the lower social classes, and impoverished children were a common sight. Dickens was still an advocate for the poor, and often made social and moral statements in his writings. "A Christmas Carol" is no exception, weaving a beautifully written and captivating tale with a strong theme of moral and social justice. The lessons of history are as valid today as when the book was written in 1843.
There are many cinematic versions of this classic story, and this year is a good year to start or continue a family reading tradition or watch this classic story, and do not forget to read it as well. Younger kids will love the Disney or Muppet versions, while the whole family can watch the classic movie starring George C. Scott. If you're in a humorous mood, Scrooged star Bill Murray or A Christmas Carol (2009) with Jim Carrey might suit your mood. Whatever the case may be, this Charles Dickens story is a classic story that promises to entertain the whole family for many years to come.