Hello everybody! For today’s blogmas post, we have Sarah Todd Taylor with us, to discuss why she thinks A Christmas Carol is one of the most perfect stories ever. Having recently watched the Muppets’ version, I’m inclined to agree…! Onto the post!
‘Tis the season for A Christmas Carol and though other Christmas stories may come and go, Dickens’ tale of Christmas Eve redemption remains a firm favourite in all its guises. Whether you favour the madcap humour of the Muppets, the black and white chills of Alastair Sim or the arch satire on capitalism of Scrooged, there is a Christmas Carol adaptation for everyone. I discovered a new favourite this year in Spirited, a lively version that riffs cleverly on the original tale while also asking new questions about what the ghosts have actually achieved when Scrooge wakes on Christmas morning. Is his change instant or is it something he will need to work at, day by day?
This, of course, is the central question in A Christmas Carol – is it possible to change? Can we re-write the script of our lives as easily as each new adaptation re-writes this much loved tale? Dickens’ assures us that Scrooge continues to make good on those Christmas morning promises. His change is real.
I think part of the enduring appeal of A Christmas Carol has something to do with this central theme of change. Christmas is a time of year when we often reflect back on the year, for good or ill, and make new resolutions for the future. A Christmas Carol speaks to that desire we have to be able to change, to put right the wrongs we see, to do better.
And that’s why I think that A Christmas Carol is not just the perfect Christmas tale, but THE perfect tale. All good stories are, at their heart, about change. The friends realise they love one another. The ogre becomes good. The giant learns to make friends. Stories are less about events than they are about characters, and one of the most interesting things a character can do is learn and let the events of the story change them.
And no story ever written has understood this better than A Christmas Carol.
Thank you so much for reading! Do you love A Christmas Carol? What’s your favourite version? Are you a fan of Sarah’s books? I’d love to chat in the comments!
Speak very soon,
One thought on “The Magic of A Christmas Carol by Sarah Todd Taylor”
This a lovely and thought-provoking commentary by Sarah. I now think the ghosts are very much a prompt to those that need it, which, let’s face it, is a lot if not most, as to finding true happiness and peace comes from within. Change comes from within, that is a certainty. Our destiny is also ours to create and not others. Maybe Dickens was a Buddhist, too, and never realised it 🙂.