Two Best All Time Christmas Books
Christmas books are having a modern digital rebirth on Amazon Kindle. My Christmas book, which is actually a novella called Christmas In Cowchip, you will admit has an innovative and festive title. It sets forth n the best traditions of the best time of the year. It is in the tradition (Though nowhere near the merit of A Christmas Carol.)
This holiday season you will want to read this book. It is 26,000 words which translates to a full feel good evening of holiday season reading pleasure.
Christmas stories have been around for 2012 years, as you well know, the first of them being the most famous of all, and that’s the story of birth of Jesus. That particular popular Christmas book has sold more than any other.
A little later, you have my favorite called “A Christmas Carol,” written by none other than the man, the legend, Charles Dickens. It was published in time for Christmas 1843. I have read it a dozen times, at least, and have the three best movies that I view each year. While it is not an adventure story, it is never the less adventurous.
- An American Christmas Carol which is a made for TV movie (When they were still doing that) that aired in 1979. No use reviewing it here for you can find plenty about it in the search engines.
- Scrooge starring Albert Finney which aired in 1970. It’s a musical.
- A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott in 1984. (My all time favorite.)
Of course, many will argue that the the 1951 version of Scrooge starring Alastair Sim is the best of all time. And it was, I fully agree until George C. Scott made his miserly debut.
There are earlier versions. You can watch the 1935 version with Seymour Hicks on the movie section of the Internet Database. You will find that it is lacking. Dittos for the disappointing attempt in 1938 with good old Reginald Owen who acts like he’s trying as hard as possible to quickly say all of his lines so he can go get an adult beverage.
Even the inventor of the movies, Thomas Alva Edison got into the spirit of the season with his version way back in 1901. And there are more including Mister Magoo’s Christmas, a cartoon that ran in 1962 when I was seven years old. That’s the first one I remember and I loved it dearly.
However, before there was flickers and the telly, there was Charles Dickens himself. He used to go all over the place reading excerpts from his famous book to thronging crowds in Europe and America.
His last visit was in 1868. He died a couple of years later. Check out what Americans had to say about the very British Dickens:
Opinion Piece on A Christmas Carol from 1868
Dickens’s Christmas Carol.
There is not, in all literature, a book more thoroughly saturated with the spirit of its subject than Dickens’s “Christmas. Carol,” and there is no book about Christmas that can be counted its peer. To follow old Scrooge through the ordeal ” of loving discipline whereby the ghosts arouse his heart, is to be warmed in every fiber of mind and body with the gentile,’ bountiful, ardent, affectionate Christmas glow. Read at any season of the year, this genial story never fails to quicken the impulses of tender and thoughtful’ charity. Read at the season of the Christian festival, its pure, ennobling influence is felt to stronger and sweeter than ever. As you turn its magical pages, you hear the midnight moaning of the winter wind, the soft rustle of the falling snow, the rattle of the hail on the naked branch and window-pane, and’ the far-off tumult of the tempest-smitten seas: but also there comes a vision of snug and cozy rooms, close curtained from night and storm ‘ wherein the lights burn brightly, and the sound of merry music mingles with the sound of merrier laughter, and all is warmth and kindness and happy content, and looking on these pictures, you feel the full reality of cold and want and sorrow, as contrasted with warmth and comfort, and recognize anew the sacred duty of striving, by all possible means, to give to every human being a cheerful home and a happy fireside.
The sanctity of that duty is the moral of Christmas, and of the “Christmas Carol.” That such a book should find an enduring place in the affectionate admiration of mankind, is an inevitable result of the highest moral and mental excellence. Conceived in a mood of large human sympathy, and expressed in a delicate fanciful yet admirably simple form of art, it addresses alike the unlettered and the cultivated, it touches the humblest as well as the highest order of mind, and it satisfies every rational standard of taste. So truly is this work an inspiration, that the thought about its art is always an afterthought. So ‘faith fully and entirely does it give voice to the universal Christmas sentiment, that it seems the perfect reflux of every reader’s ideas and feelings, thereupon.
There are a few other books of this kind in the world, in which genius does, at once and forever, what ambling talent had always been vainly trying to do, and these make up the small body of literature which is “for all time.”
All of Dicken’s Christmases were not happy. His sister-in-law killed herself. She had operated a boarding house for some time. Her husband had been dead for three or four years. Bet you didn’t know that!
From 1867 “Dickens Has It”
Contemporary report of a visit from Dickens. (1812-1870)
In the readings that Mr. Dickens gave last night the character of that genius was fully and admirably denoted. The key-note of all his writings is sounded in the “Christmas Carol” and the “Pickwick Papers.” Humanity and humor blend in that note, and make an exquisite music. Other of his works. It is true,
express more amply, and in minute and elaborate detail, the scope of the writer’s mind, the vigor and wealth of his imagination, the wonderful thoroughness of his analysis of nature, the keenness of his intuitions, and depth of his pathos, the remarkable perception that he has of the somber and tragical aspects of human experience, and the rich resources of his eloquent style.
…Yet, to the acute thinker, the characteristic quality of that heart and mind are evident enough in the “Christmas Carol” and the “Pickwick Papers.” Not humanity and humor alone; but delicate inventive skill the fine talent of the an airy and delightful fancy, a true comprehension of character and of social relations, a thorough, acquaintance and sympathy with common joys and common sorrows, and, above all, the clear, calm, noble purpose to inculcate the religion of love. The geniality of the Christmas season has never been so entirely uttered as is in this little work. The great fires roar in its pages, and blight eyes twinkle, and merry bells ring, and sunlight and starlight and joy wrap it round about – in a delicious atmosphere of honest, ardent goodness. There is one touch of pathos in it which no heart can rest. It is where poor Bob Cratchit speaks of Tiny Tim’s grave. You may read it a thousand times, but you can never read it without a mist in the eyes. , “it would have done you good to see how green a place it is,” Bob says; “but you’ll see it often, promised him that I would walk there on a Sunday.’ My little, little child my little child.
There is another touch a touch of thought which expresses the great author’s faith, and is, indeed, the concentrated spirit of all his teachings: “ages of incessant labor by immortal creatures on this earth must pass into eternity before the good of it is susceptible is all developed.
Mr. Dickens is not only an excellent reader but a greatly gifted actor. To read his works is to see that he possesses the dramatic instinct. To hear him read is to see that he also possesses, in almost equal fullness, the dramatic faculty, for reading as well as writing he enters into every character he creates.
Now he is Scrooge, presently he is Mr. Fizziwig, anon he is Bob Crattchit
To say that Mr. Dickens has it is sufficiently to explain the continued triumphs that be has achieved in reading his own works.
It is a fact, that if I could carry only one book to Mars besides the Bible, it would be A Christmas Carol. When it was published, volumes of praise were given it. Twenty years later, as in the above blurbs, praise was just as lavish. Already it was a full fledged Christmas family tradition. 150 years later, I also praise it. It is the most complete expansion on the principle of The Golden Rule that has ever been or or ever will be written by man. 150 years hence, if man still writes, and the book still exists, the kindly reviews will still be coming.
While A Christmas Carol isn’t a children’s book, nor does it have reindeer, it does present in a small but potent volume the formula to generate happiness. What more can you ask in a book to stand the test of time?
My book, Christmas in Cowchip can not be compared in any way with Dicken’s work. However, millions of Amazon readers can’t go wrong when they search for this excellent holiday book, read Christmas, full and round.
And while it will never go on the shelf with Dicken’s Christmas classics, a Cowchip Christmas is a special one. It is a book about a Christmas challenge that leads to Christmas hope by Norman Morrison, author extraordinaire and teller of tales of that strange little town called Cowchip Alabama. The more people learn about this little berg, the more they want to come visit and sample the eggnog to see what’s so special about the water there.
This is author Norman Morrison signing off from everyone’s favorite home town, Cowchip, Alabama. God bless, every doggone one!