A Christmas Carol and Holiday Reading

Hi, SEers! You’re with Mae today, as we enter the countdown for Christmas. Just under two weeks away—can you believe it?

Young girl in white coat, red gloves, black boots, and festive Christmas hat
All photos courtesy of Pixabay

I hope you’re enjoying the hustle-bustle leading up to the big day. I get swept up in the festive atmosphere every year. Even though I’ve gotten older, and some of my family traditions have changed, the same Spirit of Christmas that resided in me as a child, is still alive and thriving within me today. 

From Christmas carols and decorations, to twinkling outside lights, sparkling trees, nativity scenes, and holiday movies, I’m a sap for the season! Every year my husband and I watch Elf with Will Farrell, but the one movie I never miss—even if I watch it alone—is A Christmas Carol. There have been countless film adaptions and I’ve seen most of them (my personal favorite is the one starring Patrick Stewart).

Vintage Christmas illustration, Scrooge 's nephew and his wife welcoming Scrooge to their Christmas Eve dinner

Did you know that Charles Dickens originally wrote the novel after visiting an establishment for London street children? The plight of the poor factors heavily into Dickens’s classic, along with the theme of redemption. I love watching Scrooge transform from a mean-spirited, miserly soul into a man bursting with joy, and a heart filled with goodwill for others.

From the time that it was first released on December 19, 1843, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print. By Christmas Eve of 1843, it had already sold out, and by the end of 1844, thirteen editions had been released. The story has been translated into several languages and has been adapted over and over again for film and stage. I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t been touched in some way by this beautiful classic. This year, I treated myself to a print copy—I can’t believe it was never on my bookshelf! If you’re interested in grabbing your own copy, just follow this link for PRINT or KINDLE

I love reading Christmas stories during the holiday season. Do you have your own favorite? In addition to classics, there are wonderful contemporary novels and novellas that feature this festive time of year. Many of our Story Empire authors have their own releases. Although we don’t do self-promotion on this blog, I didn’t think it would hurt to link these holiday reads for your enjoyment:

MOUNTAIN LAUREL CHRISTMAS
by Jan Sikes

Cole Knight should be on top of the world. He’s living his dream of being a country music superstar. Yet, he’s dying inside, filled with guilt, regret and grief. Desperation for peace drives him. 

OH BAUBLES
by Harmony Kent
One Christmas, a tragic accident leaves Charlene scarred and damaged with a long recovery ahead. Then John, a hot young physiotherapist, comes into her life with his ripped abs and good-god good-looks—can Charlene overcome all obstacles to gain back her life and find true love once more?

NO SUCH LUCK
by Staci Troilo
Piper Seidel’s string of misfortunes has followed her a thousand miles to her hometown, where—while looking her worst—she bumps into her unrequited high school crush. Her luck improves when he takes an interest in her, but she can’t help but notice Jack Rhodes, her best friend, is doing all he can to stand between them. Or maybe she should just say she can’t help but notice Jack Rhodes…

BRIGHT LIGHTS AND CANDLE GLOW
A collection of Christmas-themed or winter-themed stories from eight different authors, including Story Empire’s Joan Hall and Staci Troilo.

FOOD FOR POE
by Mae Clair

It’s a night for miracles when Quinn Easterly gets stranded by a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, with her newly adopted cat, Poe. Thankfully, a kind stranger, trying to make the best of the holiday for his sickly teen daughter, comes to her rescue—or is it the other way around? 

I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Reading! I’d love to hear about some of your own favorite Christmas novels in the comments.

Ready, set, go!

bio box for author, Mae Clair

76 thoughts on “A Christmas Carol and Holiday Reading

  1. LOVE this post so much, Mae! You know how much I love Christmas in pretty much every aspect, and I totally agree with you on A Christmas Carol. Here’s wishing you the happiest holiday, ever, to include a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully Happy New Year! Celebrate, my Penderpal, and enjoy every minute of it! 🤗❤️🎄❤️🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, my friend! I am ten days in on a wretched sinus/bronchial infection. The good news is it’s not COVID (2 negative tests). Things have been mostly a blur for a while, but I’m finally coming out of the back side, and hope to be in shape for Christmas.
      Being the Christmas sap that I a I’ve done a lot of holiday movies watching over the last week, not able to focus on much of anything else, so there is always a plus side, LOL.
      Hope you are doing well and enjoying the time leading up to the holiday. Wishing you the merriest of Christmases, my Penderpal! 🤗 ❤️ 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I”m so sorry you’ve been sick, but very glad it’s not COVID! Just take good care of yourself, watch all the Christmas movies you feel up to, and think happy, healing thoughts! Sending you prayers for a speedy recovery!

        I have good days, and so-so days, without much energy, but INFINITELY better days than I had from February through most of October. My heart meds seem to be helping greatly, and I look forward to accomplishing some writing in 2023. Hope you’ll keep us posted as to how you are doing. I’ll sure be thinking of you.

        Here’s to a Merry Christmas filled with love and joy, and all your favorite people! 🤗❤️🎄❤️🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: This Week at Story Empire – Joan Hall

  3. Sadly, I am not a fan of any of the film or TV adaptations of “A Christmas Carol” (apart from “Scrooged” Dickens would have liked that methinks) lol better reading the book. It is only a short book.
    Oh, and read “Dan Simmons”, “Drood” for a real insight into why and when it was written.

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    • You’re right, Ray, it is a very short book and well worth a read. I was surprised that most of the dialogue in the Patrick Smith version was almost word for word from the book!

      Interesting you should mention Dan Simmons’ Drood. I was just thinking of that book yesterday and considering giving it another read. It’s definitely a dark, twisted story but worth exploring at least once. I think I still have the paperback copy. (Speaking of Simmons, his book “The Terror” is among my all-time favorite reads!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really enjoyed “The Terror”. Have you seen the TV adaptation?
        But for me Dan Simmons “Hyperion” and “Endymion” are the best of his works (named after the Keats poems). Lol but that is just me,

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      • I tried to watch the TV adaption of The Terror, but it didn’t work for me. I think maybe the book spoiled me.

        I haven’t read either Hyperion or Endymion but I know they are highly respected works. Maybe one of these days I will get around to tackling them. He’s a fabulous author!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I had my writers’ club Christmas carry-in yesterday–lots of fun– so never got to my computer, but I enjoyed your post today. My sister and cousin LOVE Christmas and start watching movies in July with the theme. I love Christmas, too, but not in July. I went to my sister’s house to watch the new SPIRITED movie on appletv–a musical Scrooge theme with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. Pretty fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As much as I love Christmas, I’m not a Christmas in July person either Judi. I’m in full summer mode then, and lamenting that the warm weather won’t last forever! 😆

      I’m so glad you got to enjoy a writer’s club Christmas party. It sounds like a lot of fun. I have been woefully sick for the last six days, and am only now starting to pull myself from the mire (though I still have no voice). I keep telling myself that on the positive side, I’m getting all this crap out of the way before Christmas, LOL.

      And, finally, I’m jealous you got to see SPIRITED. I don’t have appletv, but I love Will Ferrell and that looks like a winner. Hopefully, it will show up on another streaming service eventually. Merry Christmas, my friend!

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  5. I’m a fan for A Christmas Carol as well. However, my favorite version stars George C. Scott. What a brilliant performance. I’m also a sucker for It’s A Wonderful Life. That film never gets old. These movies take me back to childhood and simpler times. Ah, memories! Thanks for a wonderful post, Mae. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Clearly, George C. Scott is the Christmas Carol winner, hands down, based on everyone’s comments. I’m going to have to watch that one again.

      And I am horribly embarrassed to admit I have never seen It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s something I keep meaning to correct, but I keep forgetting about it. Once again on the list for my holiday season, LOL.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane, Beem. There are so many great old movies and shows to celebrate Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a fellow ‘sap for the season’ I loved this post, Mae. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read or watched A Christmas Carol – it’s moving, entertaining and funny and definitely leaves you with a feel-good factor. I’ve read quite a few off your list – and how could I resist a festive book with Poe in the title! Off to get it now. Have a lovely Christmas and may it fill your heart with happiness. ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Trish. I love when someone else tells me they’re a sap for the season, too. It’s such a lovely time of year. I wish there were a way to bottle it and make it stay 365 days every year. As it is, I’ll settle for the magic that pervades the air during this wonderful season. I’m so glad you love A Christmas Carol as much as I do. And thank you for picking up Poe. It’s an odd little tale, but it’s definitely filled with Christmas magic,

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season, my friend! 🤗❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A Christmas Carol is my favorite. I bought my husband a copy that I borrow to read each year. All great reads you suggested 🙂 Thanks for the festive post, Mae.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You listed some wonderful books here. A Christmas Carol is such a great story. The first time I heard it was in Grade three when our teacher read it to us and then we made it into a puppet show for the Christmas concert at school. It stuck with me forever. I like the Patrick Stewert version too but they are all good. Hubby and I love watching Shrek The Halls at Christmas time. (I know, we’re a bit weird)

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! Shrek the Halls is a lot of fun, Darlene, And I love that when you were a kid you made A Christmas Carol into a puppet show. I honestly don’t recall when I first experienced it, but I know the moment I did, I was thoroughly smitten. It may just be my favorite story of all time.
      Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the Christmas reading suggestions, Mae. A Christmas Carol is always on the list. I prefer the version with George C. Scott. I like the version with Patrick Stewart, but I’m not as fond of Bob Cratchit in that version. My daughter swears that the Christmas season doesn’t begin until she’s watched The Muppet Christmas Carol. Whichever version you like and whatever you like to read, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is so much fun about your daughter, Dan! And, judging by the comments here, the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol wins hands down. It’s my second favorite version, but whichever one you choose, it’s a fantastic holiday classic. Thank you for the holiday wishes. I’m sending them back as well, wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A great post, MC. I have probably seen A Christmas Carol in various forms (TV, stage, movie) at least ten times and it never, ever gets old. I think I like George C Scott as Mr. Scrooge the best. A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right that it never gets old, Noelle. The George C. Scott version is a great one (and probably my second fave). Patrick Stewart nudged it out just a bit. I love how happy he is dancing and having fun with his nephew’s friends at the end. The scene gets me every time. But whatever version, you can’t go wrong with Mr. Dickens Christmas classic.
      Thank you for the holiday wishes. Sending Merry Christmas wishes to you and yours as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. We have regular Christmas movies we watch, but A Christmas Carol has never been on the list for some reason. Honestly, I can’t tell you the last time I watched it. Seems like that’s something we need to correct. And I’ve read several of the Christmas books mentioned (loved Poe)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed Poe, Teri. There’s something about a cat at Christmas . . . 😉

      Wow, I’m shocked that it’s been so long since you’ve seen A Christmas Carol. I’m sure it’s probably being played on a bunch of stations right now, so you can always indulge if you want to. Either way, Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am a sap for the season, too, Mae. I love watching the excitement in my grandchildren’s eyes, and it makes me remember. I am beyond honored that you listed Mountain Laurel Christmas here. Thank you so much! And I see a couple of SE books I have not yet read, so I’m off to add them. While the holidays are hectic, it’s also a great time to curl up with a good story. Dickens was a masterful storyteller, and I will watch the movie again this year. I honestly have never read the book, but know I would enjoy it. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s surprising how thin the book is, Jan. Such a tiny story that has impacted so many people over the years. I love that it’s so little and yet has had such a staggering reach.

      Mountain Laurel Christmas is perfect for this time of year. I was happy to include it my list of Christmas reads. And I’m glad to hear that you turn into a Christmas sap, too, LOL. May the Spirit of Christmas inspire us all. Wishing you and your family a very merry holiday, my friend!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for the shout-out, Mae. I’ve been reading Christmas theme books for the past few days. I love A Christmas Carol and watched it at least once every Christmas. Our favorite is the TV version with George C. Scott. In reading the comments, it’s funny that most people have different favorite versions.

    And I can’t go through the season without watching A Charlie Brown Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The George C. Scott version is a favorite of mine, Joan. The Patrick Stewart one edges it out a bit, but you can’t go wrong no matter which version you choose. Oh, and I love A Charlie Brown Christmas. That’s a great holiday tradition!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Merry Christmas! A Christmas Carol is one of my favorites, and I just finished reading it the other day. I’ve now started reading The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is about Dickens And his writing of A Christmas Carol.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Merry Christmas and enjoy the New Year, Mae! Thanks for the DYK on Charles Dickens insights and the list of holiday reads. My movie list (TBV) on new and repeats keeps growing. Fun times!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Grant! Thank you for the holiday wishes. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and one can never have too many Christmas movies to choose from, so here’s to that list continuing to grow!
      Merry Christmas and wishes for a Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The signs of winter and Christmas are everywhere present in our area. It’s been snowing for two days, and temps remain below freezing. Like you, I love The Christmas Carol and so many others. May we all discover the magic of the season and fall into our hearts. Merry Christmas, Mae, to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Snow for two days? I saw on the news last night about Arizona getting snow. There’s so much of it right now in various parts of the country, but we are just cold in my area. I’m not a fan of snow but it is magical at Christmas time.
      Wishing you and yours a peaceful and Merry Christmas, Gwen!

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  17. Thanks for the shout-out, Mae. Much appreciated. I also watch several versions of A Christmas Carol every year. My favorite is the musical version with Kelsey Grammer (though it seldom tops anyone’s list). I’ve tried to keep traditions alive, though it’s hard given how far we are from family. The one tradition I won’t abandon is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, our Christmas Eve meal. I look forward to that all year long.

    Merry Christmas!

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  18. I cannot believe it’s so close to Christmas. I’m so not ready this year, lols. I don’t have a particular read for Christmas, but I do get in as much reading as possible during my holiday time. Thanks so much for the Oh Baubles shoutout. I’ve enjoyed all the books you’ve mentioned. Happy holidays, Mae 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: A Christmas Carol and Holiday Reading | Legends of Windemere

  20. My heart skipped a beat when I read it’s less than two weeks until Christmas! How can that be? I love to read and watch holiday themed stories. Thanks for sharing this terrific list. I’ve read and enjoyed several. Have a peaceful holiday, Mae!❤️

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  21. Where I live, local media types put on a reading of A Christmas Carol as a fundraiser for a charity that helps those down on their luck. This year it was both a live and a virtual event. You’re right, the story never gets old, and Scrooge’s transformation is touching. The story also has many humorous bits.

    Liked by 6 people

    • What a cool thing, Audrey. I love the idea of using A Christmas Carol as a fundraiser. It couldn’t be better suited.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you get to enjoy a production of Dickens’ classic this year. Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

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