Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Most of us are crazy busy at this time of year (including me). We're trying to juggle work, family, shopping, holiday parties, the budget and so on. To help keep some perspective, it's worth trying to carve out a little time to appreciate some of the literary and cinematic classics that bring the season to life.
Read or watch the wonderful Charles Dicken's tale "A Christmas Carol", the story of miserly Scrooge and the three spirits that bring him to a new sense of the joy and wonder of the Christmas season. You can do a chapter a night as a family read aloud in the week preceding December 25th, or you can borrow one of the several film versions of the story that the library owns.
MCPL can offer anything from the 1951 Alastair Sim's version (which set the standard for screen portrayals of Scrooge) to an expanded BBC production that includes ensemble versions of Dickensian pub songs. My personal favorite stars George C Scott as a particularly curmudgeonly Scrooge. Or, there's always "The Muppet Christmas Carol" - Kermit makes a wonderful Bob Crachitt. If you have time after the holidays, and are looking for an interesting read for a cold January night, you can pick up "The Man Who Invented Christmas" by Les Standiford to find out more about Dickens and his beloved story.
Another appealing short read is Truman Capote's autobiographical novella "A Christmas Memory". This gentle story decribes the Christmas preparations of a young boy and his slightly eccentric, elderly cousin in the Depression era South.
Frank Capra's classic film "It's a Wonderful Life" seems to be on continuous television play during December, but if you need to schedule your own showing, the library can provide a copy. Remember, everytime you hear a bell.....
Another lovely family read aloud is Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas". The library has many wonderfully illustrated versions of the poem, ranging from the intricate and playful work of Jan Brett, to Tasha Tudor's warm and homey pictures of an elfin Santa, to one in the distinctive style of beloved children's author Tomie De Paola.
So pop some popcorn, make some warm drinks for both the adults and kids, and gather everyone around to make some great holiday memories. Enjoy!