We have read A Christmas Carol in the past two Christmases such that the book has become a part of our Christmas tradition. This year, however, I think it would be a good idea to expand our scope a little wider by reading the other Christmas stories written by Charles Dickens at Tiger's bedtime so that A Christmas Carol does not become the only Dickensian Christmas story that we know.
However, even though we are not reading A Christmas Carol this year, we find ourselves not being able to get away from it totally. As a result of Tiger being ill with fever most of last week, we found ourselves having a lot of time on our hands that we could spend on video watching. To my surprise, Tiger watched the 1999 movie version without his usual complaint that most movie versions are poor substitutes for the original storybooks. There have been numerous movie adaptations of the story, but the 1999 version is the one that stayed most true to the original, and it helps that Patrick Stewart (who played Scrooge) is a most excellent actor.
After we watched the movie, we thought we might as well review our knowledge about the origins of the story:
What I find interesting about reading/reviewing the same story each year is that not only does the story become part of our family's tradition at Christmas time, but my own understanding of the story grows with each reading. This sense of getting to know a story at a deeper level with each passing year comes with no surprise. What is perhaps surprising is how easily recognisable many universal human values, such as compassion and redemption, are in this very traditional, English story. Then again, isn't that what every good classic story is supposed to do?
Another reason for us not being able to completely ignore A Christmas Carol this year is that it is currently being discussed in the BerkerleyX Book Club, which is another free MOOC offered by edX. Tiger and I looked at the first week's coursework, which we felt has helped us consider a few points that we had not discussed in our previous readings.