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A Christmas Carol was a novel published in 1843 by Charles Dickens, and since then has been adapted in a multitude of different ways. This story has been told through musicals, plays, a Muppet adaptation and many other platforms. What makes it so special that allows it to last almost 200 years as a timeless classic?
A Good Story
A Christmas Carol is so special to the holidays partly because of its story. To oversimplify, it is about a greedy man who learns to change his ways by the end. The simple nature of the story allows for an easy adaptation and application to the constantly changing world. The world is very different from how it was in the mid-1800s, but its elements, such as greed coming from the rich and powerful, feel similar today. There is still an upper class, and some would consider them to be greedy. It is a near guarantee that a similar structure will be in place after another 200 years. This story’s ability to always bear some resemblance to this constantly changing world enables it to remain a widely renowned holiday tale.
Spanning Many Generations Makes It a Classic
The ability to preserve stories nowadays is a big contributor to the story’s survival. People are able to read it even today, or they watch a small collection of its movie adaptations. I personally have a distinct memory of watching the Loony Tunes adaptation when I was 6 in my grandfather’s house, and I know my mother’s favorite is the 2009 animated version. Despite the story being published when steam trains were coming into prominence, changing with the times and resonating with people of all generations makes it stand the test of time.
A Hopeful Message
It is the hope of many people that we can all come together and make the world a better place. Though people may have different ideas on how to make that happen, a story about an old man stuck in his ways and holding all of his wealth to himself, who then becomes a better person and shares his wealth by the end of the story is a hopeful one. That kind of story shows how Christmas and the holidays are a time of charity and that we can use that charity to make the world a better place.
As I said before, I have clear memories of watching the movie adaptations when I was younger. A quick search of “A Christmas Carol movies” brings you to a long running list of movies based on Dickens’s original classic. There are the predictable childrens’ choices, adaptations running from Looney Tunes to Flintstones to Muppets, along with comedic takes on the story that change the ghosts haunting the protagonist about greed to chastising him about love.
Overall, A Christmas Carol is a key characteristic of the holidays. It’s ability to thrive in the age of technology has allowed it to be adapted onto movie screens, where it has become a big part of the holidays as children watch the cartoons with their families. It shares a hopeful message that people will give to the less fortunate to help the world become a better place. All in all, A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic and a big part of the holidays.