Friday, November 5, 2010

Christmas Fun - A Christmas Carol

And the answer is...
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens!
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
First Edition 1843
Illustrator: John Leech
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published on December 19, 1843 - the same year as the first commercial Christmas card. This little book, more than anything else, brought "fun" back into the celebration of Christmas. The holy celebration of Christ's birth - one which we will see in later chapters is most definitely a holy day God intended for us to remember with nothing what-so-ever to do with pagan celebrations (a relatively modern, if ignorant, thought) - had been made illegal by Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans from between 1642 - 1660 (granted some of the population abused the 12 Days of Christmas and had turned it into a time of revelry, much like today). The celebration of Christmas returned to England after the monarchy - King Charles II - returned to the throne but it really wasn't until Charles Dickens wrote his little story that the celebration of Christmas started to take on the characteristics we know and love today.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Illustrator: John Leech
I think a very good modern comparison to the influence a story has in how an event is celebrated might be to the 1990 movie, Home Alone.
The First Poster for Home Alone
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia 
Although people put up Christmas twinkle lights on their homes and businesses it was nothing compared to how places were decorated after the movie's release. Then, not only were North American homes and business decorated but a new level of using twinkle lights at Christmas time was reach around the world!
But many thanks must be given to Charles Dickens for his lovely, A Christmas Carol.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
I for one love it!
Hope you all have a great weekend!

P.S. An On-line version of A Christmas Carol can be found at the Electronic Text Center of the University of Virginia Library


Natasha said...

I am always learning new things when I visit here! This was an interesting post and I had no of the huge impact that Home Alone (probably one of my absolute favourite Christmas movies!) had over in America on Christmas decorating!

Best wishes always,

Sara Bentley @ Purses Pastries Etc... said...

I LOVE both A Christmas Carol and Home Alone!! I try to read my copy of that Dickens classic every Christmas -- it really is the perfect story! And I'd never made that connection between Home Alone and twinkle lights but you're right... the gorgeous sets and homes featured in the movie definitely inspired me! Love this post :)

Heartfire At Home said...

Aha!! I didn't think of that one! I also learn something new and interesting whenever I visit!!

Linda. xx

GrandmaK said...

You know Christmas without Charles Dickens is just not the same. I do love the "Christmas Carol" tradition. Enjoyed this post!! Cathy

Lois Evensen said...

I also found the Home Alone connection interesting. I do remember lots of Christmas lights on some houses when I was a kid - long before Home Alone. We would go for rides on the evenings before Christmas to see the lights in parts of town where the neighbors on whole blocks would all decorate their homes into winter wonderlands of Christmas decorations. That was when they used wood decorations they had made and painted themselves, not the plastic blow-up decorations of today.

I really enjoy your blog!


Duff said...

I'm new here and thoroughly excited to read up on St. Nicholas of Myra; thanks for the invitation!

Bethany said...

That's definitely my favorite Christmas story!
One year every channel seemed to be showing a different version of it, and they were staggered so I could watch them all--what a great Christmas Eve that was. And then last year I could only find it playing once...

fernvalley01 said...

I grew up watching "A Christmas Carol" Ever christmas eve ,the one with Allistar Simms

BeadedTail said...

Such an interesting post! I enjoyed it very much!

Thank you for stopping by our blog! We're sending purrs to you and Eddie the Tailless Tabby!

JackDaddy said...

Well I miss one day and it seems I've missed a lot! :)

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Ann,
Wow, that was an amazing "wedding proposal" story!! Thank you so much for sharing it...and I love this post. I think you're right--Home Alone has definitely become such a classic...hard to believe all the years that have gone by since they made that movie...
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!!!

Krystal said...

That is so interesting about how Home Alone affected decorations, haha!

Ann said...

A Christmas Carol is one of my favorites. So many versions of it out there too. I didn't realize that Home alone had made such an impact. Shows how much I pay attention :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Ann dearest! And chez toi, another beautiful history of some of the Christmas traditions that we take for granted or just engage in, without knowing where they came from or why we do them. Are you a historian? I so admire and appreciate the extra time you and other food or antique HISTORIAN bloggers take to present an intelligent and moving post. I just know that THE CHRISTMAS CAROL remains to be one of my favorite holiday stories and also my favorite theatre production that I did as a younger woman. The setting of old England and the accent I had to learn to play MRS. FILCHER (the woman who steals Scrooge's bedcurtains) is a memorable moment for me in my thespian experience. THANK YOU ANN, for coming to my post and yes, my grandparents, though they did not live long, grew old enough together to be YOUNG and beautiful and full of family on both sides were lively people, and now that they are all gone and I am in another state, things are no longer the same....quite a shock for a Mexican-American family. But memories of TAMALE making in the kitchen as an entire FAMILY, and we are talking at least 100 people, will forever stay in my heart and be brought up in my memory every holiday season.

THANK YOU AGAIN DEAREST and have a lovely weekend! Anita

Elizabethd said...

What a fascinating look at the history of all that surrounds Christmas.
Thank you for visiting me, it is good to meet new friends.

LisaShaw said...

Wow thanks for digging in Ann and giving us this history. I enjoyed this! Blessings to you!

Kerri said...

Ann, your research into the history of St. Nicholas is so interesting to read. Thanks for doing all that study and taking the time to share it with us.
Amazing, isn't it, how one story (A Christmas Carol) can have such an affect on the world. Yes, many thanks indeed to Charles Dickens.
Hard to believe that Home Alone is 20 years old!
Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog. I agree that comments are such an encouragement. I too treasure them.
God bless and have a lovely day :)

Jacalyn @ said...

I guess I didn't realize how much ACC impacted the world (or Home Alone for that matter, ha). Thanks for visiting today and oh, I can't have a housekeeper because I would just do it over, ha!


Nanny Ree said...

Thanks for stopping over at my blog & inviting me to follow yours ~I look forward to your future posts. I love A Christmas Carol too have a wonderful week-end Marie x

George the Lad said...

I think I will have to go back and read your other posts!Hows your furiend, settled in I could think :)
See Yea George xxx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Ann dearest! I see you visited us in NOWHERE! We are a bunch of crazy lovers of imagination and we have so much fun together. Me, my husband RATTUS SCRIBUS or Ruben, THE DUTCHESS, Jackie, Penny and Pat. We just have a great time posting and having a sort of PING PONG match of words!!!! THANKS FOR COMING ANN!!! Anita

kmp said...

hi there! we've got your name for the christmas gift exchange. can you send us an email with your address?

Jazzi said...

The christmas names are out. Check my blog for who you have and right above is who has your name.
Jazzi and Mom, (Diana)

Marina Capano said...

Hi! Nice to meet you!

I love your blog, too.

It is very interesting.

see you


Marina Capano said...

Hi! Nice to meet you!

I love your blog, too.

It is very interesting.

see you


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! I am really loving your blog! I will have to go back and read all of your manuscript. It's fascinating just the little chunks i have read. So much for needing to go buy a new book to read from the bookstore...this may keep me busy for a while! :)


KarenHarveyCox said...

Last year my friend Joyce and I went to see a one man performance of Scrooge. It was performed by none other than Charles Dickons Great Grandson. It was fabulous and I had my copy of A Charles Dickons Christmas signed by him for a keepsake.

I also adore watching Home Alone at Christmas time. Another amazing post.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Simply fascinating to read that Home Alone had such an influence on home decorations, someting I didn't know. I can recall growing up that my parents always put out holiday lights although not to the extreme that many folks do today. It reminds me of the recent movie with Danny DeVito in which he decorated his house so it could be seen from space (sorry forgot the movie title).

Mandie said...

Thank you Charles Dickens!! I love that story sooo much.

dj56v said...

I love all of the assorted Christmas Carol/Scrooge movies! I have a few of them at home. My favorite one was with Alastair Sim. Enjoyed reading your blog!


Celestial Charms said...

I enjoy all of Charles Dickens' writings, but A Christmas Carol is my favorite. I watch over and over again all the various film versions, and enjoy reading the book often.