Okay, Christmas is a celebration of an event in history which is beyond imagination. The only essential story of Christmas is the one told in Scripture, starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.
There is something about Christmas and God’s great story of redemption and hope, of transformation and love that has moved people throughout the ages to tell other stories which reflect this theme. One of the best written is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Read the original if you haven’t. It is a masterpiece.
I imagine you’ve seen multiple versions of this work preformed. I’ve seen it in film and on stage — play and musical. I’ve also enjoyed many–though not all–of the variations on the theme that show up as TV specials and as Christmas episodes of television series.
Among my favorites are the Albert Finney musical Scrooge released in 1970 which includes some tunes that are stuck in my head forever, it seems. I missed it last night on TCM–would have recorded it to watch at a more reasonable hour had I realized it was on. I’ll watch for it again.
Another more recent favorite–though I really, really would have loved to see the one-man show that inspired this filming–is Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol. He is one of the more believable Scrooges.
I’m very picky about the portrayal of Scrooge. This is a story of redemption and transformation. Redemption requires repentance. Not every actor gets that. Not every director understands that, or so it seems.
The version that I can watch again and again and again (which I have, in fact watched repeatedly) is the Muppet Christmas Carol. This is a masterful, delightful work of storytelling! It is true to Dickens novel and it is true to Muppet culture. If you’ve not seen it and you’re at least a mild fan of this story and these crazy not-really-puppets, then you really must.
Next weekend is rather full of Christmas this and that. Perhaps Saturday night should be the official Muppet Christmas Carol at my house for the 2010 season. I wonder where I can find jelly beans this time of year?