Bah Humbug Day!

“He lived in chambers that had once belonged to his deceased partner. They were a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of building up a yard, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again.”

One of my favorite metaphors from one of my favorite books – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Most years I try to re-read this little classic some time in December.  It’s a quick, satisfying read – a great story of redemption if ever there was one!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the publication (1843).  For the first time in my memory, I had an absolute day of leisure.  Past years I either had to work or I was deep into party prep; with the party behind me (it was wonderful!) and new to my retirement, this year is different.  I decided to celebrate by watching every movie of A Christmas Carol that I like (there are more than you can imagine and I don’t like them all).

I didn’t plan my viewing schedule ahead of time… just went with the mood of the moment whenever one ended and it was time to select the next.  Started with the Reginal Owen/Gene Lockhart version then headed into the Alistair Sim version.  Needed a little lighter fare after that so did Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.  George C Scott was next followed by Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  Patrick Stewart was next, then Scrooged with Albert Finney, rounded off by The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. 

Thought about American Christmas Carol with Henry Winkler but just wasn’t up for it after 10 hours of Charles Dickens.  I don’t know if I’ll celebrate this way next year but it was a relaxing and enjoyable day for me.

If you had a free day to celebrate/commemorate something, what would it be?  And how would you like to celebrate?

40 thoughts on “Bah Humbug Day!”

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Come late July when I fully retire, I might have a garden party, but we will see. Maybe I will relax and watch movies all day. I thought Steve Grooms’ Memorial Service was a practically perfect Celebration of Life, so maybe that would be a celebration I would like for myself, however, would it matter because I would not be there! Busy, busy day ahead.

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  2. Scrooge is easy to do but hard to do right. I like the ending in the story as Dickens did it. I once saw a movie or tv version that did it that way. Not that it has to be that way.
    I can think of nothing to celebrate. I am not the celebrating type is all. I can imagine one thing I might celebrate up on a cliff I know all by myself on the Shore with Diet Coke and string cheese and chocolate cookies.
    Clyde

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  3. So speaking of not being trendy, I’ve never read A Christmas Carol, never read much Dickens, it just doesn’t work for me, and I’m not really sure I’ve ever seen the full show. For whatever reason, it just never appealed to me. And having done Theatre for 40 years, you would think at some point in time I would’ve worked on the production. Same with Nutcracker, how have I gone all these years and only managed one or two productions of the utcracker?? But back to Scrooge.
    I know the story, I know there are ghosts, I know there’s something about a kid on crutches and I know at the end he has a revelation and buys a turkey. I know I’ve seen a one-man version of it, and now that I think about it, recently saw a five person, sort of spoof production of it, and I remember another production called “Inspecting Carol“ which was very funny, but for whatever reason, the story just does not stick in my head.

    Remember, I love Christmas and getting together with the family and all that, it’s just all the extraneous stuff that doesn’t work for me. Just a couple more weeks and I get my 40’s station back!

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    1. On the whole not a fan of Dickens either. Usually read Scrooge every year. As I age I find him a bit more tolerable. Great expectations should not be taught in junior high. I do like the original movie and now the book is tolerable. I find Pickwick Papers outstanding. Sweeping in its presentation of the period. An early work when he was developing his mastery of characters. Another author who is not an admirable human.

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        1. They’re saying 5-10 for us, then the wind. 😦
          Kelly is getting lots of practice that she’d rather not have moving snow. Ish-da.

          We’re staying put until Sunday.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. Now that I’m not working, I often have days when I can do whatever I want all day. As those become more common, they seem less celebratory and more quotidian.

    I’ve probably read more about Dickens than I have by him, which correlates with my tendency toward nonfiction. In my own library I have three biographies of Dickens, one by Claire Tomalin, one by Wolf Mankowitz and one by Stephen Leacock. I also have a book about Nelly Ternan, the actress for which Dickens deserted his wife and children, also by Claire Tomalin.
    As Clyde says, Dickens was not admirable in his personal life.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve read quite a lot of Dickens. I used to read A Christmas Carol every year but that kind of fell off. It’s right next to my chair right now but whether I read it remains to be seen. I’ve read Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and Bleak House to name a few. I liked Oliver Twist. I didn’t like Great Expectations – that’s just too weird.

    I agree with Wes. That would be something to celebrate!

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    1. I would have to say that Michael Caine and Alastair Sim are the two best Scrooges in my opinion, because they do a great job of showing the gradual change in his opinions and feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. your day of leisure sounds wonderful VS and well-deserved. I heard you talking about it at the shindig the other night questioning whether Scrooged should be part of your agenda or not I like Glen made it if I were going to celebrate Shyam‘s thing and how would I do it? Is it really a fun question for me , I initially started out thinking I would like to celebrate the first day of the poet I believe it is that Jason Robards celebrates in the movie 1000 clowns or he doesn’t want applying for jobs on that day because it’s March Silverstein‘s birthday and it should be a national holiday. I have it on my calendar but I must miss it on a regular enough basis. Imprinted in my brain as the one it is, I know Kurt Vonnegut is 1111 but I don’t know when Jason Robards guy from the thousand and 12 years that guy has been a frequent inhabitant of my brain over the year

    I started out, saying OK what I’m going to celebrate is John with a brain that is free to completely be indisposed with a giant bowl of marijuana from Chicago sitting on the table next to me and the delicacies that I would love to have around me and then a dog if you know what I would like, would be stone crab and maybe some white burgundy Santa, John Camie, that vegging out with Stone crab and white burgundy really needed to be done on a sandy beach in a sunny venue, or maybe on a cruise together then it occurred to me what I would really like to be celebrating would be the successful initiation and functional status of all the ideas that I have on my to do list running around to find out the ones in the pop out quickly are the bubble water machine the stone crab center in stair lift water filtration container homes telescoping walker and on and on
    leisure schmeiser all this time driving and thinking has my juices flowing with nowhere to go
    i’ve got x amount of time to do it all
    let’s go leisure
    maybe a marijuana day would be good

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It’s been so long since I’ve read the book, I don’t remember the ending… different from the movies, I take it. Anybody?

    I would like to commemorate our last snowstorm – or snow dump – of this 2022-23 winter. Good grief, it’s not even January, and I’m tired of shoveling. We don’t really have enough to warrant getting a snowblower…

    I will do this with a wine and cheese party some evening in April (I hope), on the patio.

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    1. All the movies end the way the book does. Scrooge is redeemed, his relationship with his nephew was repaired, Bob Cratchit gets a raise, Tiny Tim lives. And people laughed to see the change in him but he let them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The novella ends with Bob not knowing Scrooge has been redeemed on Christmas Day and coming into work late the next day. Scrooge pretends he is his old self at first and being angry Bob is late and then gives him the raise and takes him out for a drink (flaming punch is it?) so they can talk about getting Tiny Tim well. You say it is a small thing to make it the next day, but to leave Bob to enjoy his day with family and not intrude I find telling about Scrooge’s redemption.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Scrooged with a D is the one with Bill Murray. Scrooge without a D is the one with Albert Finney. I did actually end up watching the last half hour of Scrooged last night after I had written the blog piece. It’s still not my favorite, but I will admit that I do enjoy the part where Carol Kane is beating up on Bill Murray. It’s the only version of a Christmas Carol I have ever seen where one of the ghosts of Christmas gets violent.

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  8. So if you’ve been keeping track or if you’ve decided you need to see the version of A Christmas Carol I would recommend the one with Patrick Stewart, as it is the one that is most faithful to the book. After that, it would be a tossup between the Muppets Christmas Carol and the one with Alastair Sim.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. For what it is worth (damn little): do not like the Sim version, Turgid and cramped. George C. Scott? Really? Who came up with the idea of an overweight overacted Scrooge? Finney. Has his moments, especially since he was so young and a last minute substitue but such a campy Marly. Ish. The Muppets. Delightful fun. Caine playes it exactly right, does not blow it off plays along but plays out the role. Stewart. If you say so. The production values were what put me off, if I remember right. But that must be the one I saw that does do the very ending by the book. So many awful other ones. Did not see the Fonz do it. I sound hard to please but I really am not. It is like playing Hamlet. Everyone has to do their spin and not the role. We went to a one-man version once in Duluth. We and several others were able to sneak out quietly after about 15 minutes.
    Tell you what: what about McKenzie Crook as Scrooge and Toby Jones as Marley and all the ghosts?

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  10. As I’m listening to the weather forecast for the next week or so, I’m so grateful that I don’t need to travel or go anywhere for Christmas. I celebrate that with a nice cup of tea, and a couple of Danish brunkager, one of my favorite Christmas cookies.

    Celebrations come in many forms. I’m not crazy about ones that require a lot of ceremony, hoopla, or expensive gifts, though luckily, I haven’t had to participate in too many of those. There are the “traditional” family celebrations centered around birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings, or other life events. Those celebrations can be both joyful and the cause of great distress, depending on circumstances. We’ve all had our fair share of those, I’m sure. I regret that I was unable to attend this year’s Solstice Party, vs, my knee was not cooperating. I’m sure it was a great celebration.

    The celebrations I love the most, though, are the small, spontaneous ones. Like the spring morning when I was four or five years old, when our huge cherry tree had burst into bloom. Dad woke me up, lifted me out of bed, and carried me downstairs and into our front yard. There he stood in the early morning’s sunlight with me in his arms and said, “isn’t that the prettiest thing you have ever seen?” The tree, covered in fragrant white flowers, was abuzz with bees; it seemed to be vibrating with life. That was the kind of celebration he excelled at: a shared moment of beauty, love, and wonder. He passed that on to me, and it’s a gift for which I’ll always be grateful. It makes it a whole lot easier to forgive him for some of the less fortunate traits he also passed on to me.

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  11. I hope to have a single day between now and January 8 to truly slow down and celebrate Winter Break (from Unitarian duties). I plan to play all my Christmas piano music, make cookies, do a few Christmas cards IF I feel like it, have some eggnog with a little something extra… I see it won’t be THIS week.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I read several of Dickens’ novels when I was a teen, and I liked them. I was especially fond of “Oliver Twist” and “David Copperfield.” A little later on I read “A Christmas Story,” and I liked that too. I’m not sure, however, that I’ve ever seen any of the movies. If I have, it has been so long ago that I have no memory of it.

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