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Humbug: Review of “The Man Who Invented Christmas” #Humbug #AChristmasCarol #Review #SoCS

A little
yuletide and humbug for you
on Christmas Eve Eve, or however one might say that.

And now, here we are, and you’ll forgive me if it’s now officially Christmas Eve. I am about to watch A Christmas Carol with my father, a Christmas Eve tradition.

Please enjoy this brief summary/review of the tale of the man who came up with the story in the first place.

Light in places, nearing the absurd, but it took me back to the times, those days.

The year was 1843 and Charles Dickens was under pressure to come up with his next big hit. He’d toured the United States of America and the crowds there loved him, but Christmas was coming and he wanted a seasonal story for the ages.

He swore he could come up with one in a matter of months/weeks.

His home was filled with beautiful new things, purchased from his previous book’s success, and a family full of life. The more he pressed himself to come up with a Christmas tale, the more consumed by it he became.

His household employed a young Irish woman who loved to tell the children old Irish ghost stories. What a thing to share at Christmas I say.

Ghosts at Christmas…well I never!

Charles overheard her telling on of these tales and ran with it and a story of an old miser being visited by three spirits came to life in his head and soon onto the page.

Literally, it came to life, as soon I was confused, as a viewer without sight or an audio track to explain.

Scrooge was there and Dickens was talking out loud. Soon, his room was spread out with papers and his characters, talking to him.

Tiny Tim was apparently inspired by a real life nephew who was ill and whose progress was uncertain when the family came to visit the Dickens’ home.

How did A Christmas Carol come to be? – BBC

Charles deals with a father who was the root of many of his son’s issues, growing up poor and with debts owed. Charles fears the fame drying up and his own future debt, making his own family suffer the way he did as a boy.

His memories of going to a poorhouse and having to work in a factory, being teased by other boys, and all this with deadlines for what was shaping up to become A Christmas Carol.

So, we all know the book does get written, obviously. No mystery there. He did it when he was younger than I am now. Times were different then, or not so much as we’d think. This story still applies.

I only read it (the novel that is), for the first time, a few years ago. To me, the title of this film is apt, as Charles Dickens, in many ways, was the inventor of Christmas, to me, a lot more recent than two thousand years.

My father has been watching that old version of the classic story, the film, since my childhood. When once I couldn’t quite grasp the whole story, finding it boring in parts, I now treasure it for its lessons on compassion and humanity.

I can think of a few souls, in need of a lesson on mistakes of the past that cannot be undone, realities of the present in other places and in the lives of other people, and the chances still available in the future to make things better.

This film told a behind-the-scenes story that made for a pleasant and sometimes gritty glimpse into poverty and one’s life work, in this case being writing. Such a career and success can dry up as fast as from whence it came.

I am inspired, as a writer myself, by a story created, as Charles did, in those stories that span the test of time, from England to North America and around the world.

I’d add this one to any list of movies to view around the Christmas season, for sure.

Humbug and Scrooge to view, for you.

“And God bless us, everyone!”

The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol – Time

I once mistook the author’s main character for the author himself. Charles Dickens was no humbug!

You’ll forgive me, Mr. Dickens sir, won’t you?

Yule tidings to you all.

History, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, Throw-back Thursday

Christmas 2014: My Wish

“What is this illusion called – the innocence of youth? Maybe only in that blind belief can we ever find the truth.”

Amy Grant, Grown Up Christmas List on YouTube

“Wook wook,” my little nephew says, as he squats by the Christmas tree and points his finger at the pictures of snowmen. He didn’t need or care about the contents of the gifts under the tree. He loved the brightly coloured wrapping.

Santa is still a new concept to him, at two years old, but it is slowly about to dawn on him that there is this mysterious guy in red and a white beard who can bring him something he wishes for once a year.

I am grown now, but I still long to return to that age of innocence, the one where Santa can make magic happen for me.

I know Santa isn’t able to bring me what I really want. the things I want are listed in the song above and the rest I already have.

It’s my first year with a blog at Christmas and I wanted to write something meaningful and jolly, but what Christmas story could I possibly come up with that I haven’t already seen?

This year I watched three new Christmas movies, at least to me: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A Christmas Story (1983, released a mere few months before I was born), and finally (an unrivalled classic) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).

I can’t say why I hadn’t seen these three so far in my over thirty years on this planet. They were all before my time, the third more than the first two, obviously, but somehow I missed out and did not grow up with any of these having the impact on my childhood as they do so many others.

Again I enjoyed the beloved Christmas Eve tradition of watching Scrooge (more commonly known as A Christmas Carol, 1951) with my father and family. Each year life alters in both big and small ways, which I reflect on as I watch the so familiar story of the three ghosts and the realization the character of Scrooge gains by the end of the film.

I reflect on the themes of generosity and appreciation Charles Dickens wrote about in the book and on my own past, present, and future and on that of the worlds’.

This 2014 it has been the start of the bicentennial markers of events during World War I and to me the Christmas truce of 1914 is an intriguing event.

The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War I

It must have been a great risk for those first to step out of the relative safety of their own trench and onto No Man’s Land to hesitantly greet a so-called enemy in a war they did not quite understand.

They hoisted lanterns from their side and began to sing, in a show of peace and good will. This was followed with friendly greetings, human being to human being, and presented gifts of cigars and alcohol.

Supposedly photos of loved ones back home were shared and this is something they all had in common.

My real Christmas wish is the essence of the song Grown Up Christmas List.

Peace can be found when effort is made, not to shoot or fire on someone you may be battling or fighting with.

Of course this did not last past December 25th and the Great War would get unspeakably ugly and horrific. This may have been the end of some sort of romantic time of chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour that would soon be no more, but really things don’t happen that way.

Humans are basically the same now as then. We have the free will and choice not to take the low road, while still so tempting for so many.

Today and this entire month the lights and the music and the shopping were a little lost on me, I must admit.

I know I am not the only one who must try extra hard during this holiday season to feel merry and jolly. It makes you feel inadequate when you can’t quite reach the level of celebration expected and so clearly felt by others all around you.

For me, it felt odd because I have always felt a heightened sense of happiness around the holidays and then this year my annual good mood did not arrive as I have come to know it.

I use the song above and the remembrance of what went on 100 years ago (demonstrating what we as human beings are, in deed, capable of), to put my less than happy Christmas 2014 into a much needed perspective.

I let the innocence and developing experience of a happy and a magical Christmas that my young niece and nephews are having bring me an added bit of a boost this particular year.

I know they can see the beauty and the value in a thing like a wrapped present and that can be enough. Toys aren’t everything in life and those desires won’t last.

Life can’t be the way it once was at Christmas—I know that.

I only want the things that I already have, the ones that no Santa can bring me, and the ones the world may never fully find.

I will watch A Christmas Carol again in 2015 and hopefully my mood will have jumped considerably, depending on the events of this coming year, but as long as I have what I know I already want I remain confident I can get through anything thrown at me during the months to come.

Other than the family I am lucky to have and of which so many others do not:

I want those who disagree to come to a truce.

I want the pain of lost love to heal and strengthen, to be able to someday find love again.

I wish for anyone who feels lonely to know what it feels like not to be, to experience what it’s like to find friendship and acceptance.

Merry Christmas or whatever you may believe, from me here at HerHeadache. Having this blog allows me to find strength, acceptance, and hope. These things I wish for today and all year round.

I hope you find all you wish for and that you are not alone, with loved ones to share this day with.

I’m off to eat some chocolate because, whatever you may believe in on this day, it can only get better with a little chocolate right?