As long as I can remember I’ve watched A Christmas Carol during Christmas time. As a young kid it was the Mickey Christmas Carol special that came on every year, then when I was in high school or junior high, I forget which, the Muppet Christmas Carol came out. It instantly became my favorite version of the Christmas classic. In 8th grade, I actually read the Christmas carol book and was intrigued by all that I read. I’ve been looking forward to my kids getting old enough to read A Christmas Carol so we could give it the book and a movie treatment, and in 8th grade (though oddly it’s on the 7th-grade books made into movies list), I finally assigned it to them, just like when I’d read it.
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A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol is a short book, it follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns the true meaning of Christmas. A phrase I wouldn’t be surprised if Charles Dickens invented.
There’s a lot to talk about with this book, and one thing I appreciate 7Sisters literary guides doing is narrowing down what to talk about.
A Christmas Carol book club
We used the 7Sisters literary guide (if you use the code 7SistersCousinTicia you’ll get 50% off your entire purchase just one time) to jump-start our Christmas Carol book club, but at the same time, there is so much more to talk about.
If you have the time, watch this movie after you’ve read the story and talk about the how of writing a book, and the life of Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens invented how we celebrate Christmas in many ways.
Scratch that, Charles Dickens capitalized on some new ideas brought in by Queen Victoria’s German husband, and cemented a growing idea of the Christmas season. He brings about the idea of a Christmas spirit and giving, and as a result of his book, Christmas giving increased an amazing amount.
It’s a fun discussion, but let’s get into the literature guide we used. It’s designed amazingly well to bring out these same ideas.
As I said, this book club is designed to pull out Dickens’ goal of increasing giving and charity to help the impoverished worker. The questions point out details that support this point. Questions I hadn’t realized when I first read the book in 8th grade. I mainly remember reading it and thinking it was the only Dickens book I enjoyed reading.
This is a more current picture, but I’ve learned for us it works better if we sit and discuss the books each week, instead of me having them write out answers and me grading them later.
Depending on how complicated I feel like being, we have snacks, but usually, we’re just sitting in the family room and talking through their notes and the questions. They tend to prefer that because they can be more comfortable.
This forces them to think beyond their quick answers scribbled down as they read the book. Their answers are challenged and they have to think about why they answered that way.
Also, a weekly discussion means they don’t read the entire book and then try answering all of the questions at the end of the book.
Not that I did that when I was in school.
No, I completed my work gradually and bit by bit. I did not read the entire book the day before it was due.
Though, that last bit was more of self-defense. Back in middle school, I would read the entire thing the first day it was assigned, and then when it finally came due 6 weeks later I’d forgotten all of the details we were supposed to be talking about.
Christmas Carol Adaptations
The correct answer to the best Christmas Carol adaptation is:
Muppet Christmas Carol, try your very best to find the unabridged version. Later DVD and blue-ray versions (I am unsure if this version has this key song, because of Amazon’s annoying habit of combining reviews for similar products) cut “The Love is Gone” song from the movie, and that really disturbs the flow of the story, because it takes away the knife twist of the broken engagement.
You need the knife twist of older Ebeneezer knowing all he has lost.
Edited to add: 7Sisters has a post on Muppet Christmas Carol worth reading
But, there is a slew of other good adaptations, just not as good.
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol– perfect for introducing the story to young kids if they can’t sit through the short Muppet Christmas Carol movie
- Jim Carrey Christmas Carol– I haven’t heard anything good about this, but I’ve heard a few kids like it…
- Patrick Steward Christmas Carol– I know several people who swear by this one as THE definitive adaptation, of course, they are wrong
- George C. Scott Christmas Carol– There are also some who claim this is the one to watch, I know even less about it
And there’s even a Lost in Adaptation comparing the different versions.
and part 2:
And then for those who want the story, but a “modern” twist
- Scrooged with Bill Murray– I’ve actually seen this and it is well done, but it loses some of its charms when torn from the early Victorian era.
Some more Christmas fun
- Middle School Christmas Fun
- Christmas Story minute to win it game
- Christmas Story bracelet
- Saint Boniface
- Christmas in Mexico
A Christmas Carol movie night
Now that you know the correct answer of what to watch, let’s talk about our snacks for our movie night:
As always, you can pick up the labels for your own Christmas Carol movie night in the Subscriber page (come join the fun, I mostly send once a week, or that’s my goal).
- Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future- we used a Halloween cookie cutter and some sugar cookies for one, then meringues for another, and the final one was marshmallows (if I had thought ahead I might have gotten some Halloween ghost peeps)
- Door knocker- scone, I think, that picture was blurry, it may have been some other type of cookie maybe, having studied the blurry picture more, it’s a donut, which makes sense as something you would use to knock more than a scone
- Chains- pretzels
- Top hat- oreo with a mini Reeses peanut butter cup on top
- Lending house- Nilla wafers for coins, you could also use chocolate coins
- Schoolwork- graham crackers with marshmallow fluff and melted chocolate “writing”
- Bed curtains- fruit roll-up
- Roast goose- roasted chicken
More Middle School books to read
- To Kill a Mockingbird book club
- Anne of Green Gables book club
- Ancient Sumeria booklist
- Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children book club
- Tom Sawyer book club (
oops, I still need to write that one) or maybe Huck Finn book club