Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol reloaded? Hell yeah!

Since when I was a little kid I loved Christmas novels and novellas. And as the title – not so subtlety – suggests Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was one of my favorites. I’ve read the book countless times and watched all the films and animations. I even have read the Scrooge McDuck edition comic. So yeah, it is a love with a long history.

That is the reason why I jumped head-first at the possibility to read gay romance versions of the original Christmas Carol. So I prepared a top-list with my favorite Christmas shorts all based on Dickens’ novel.

Yuletide Treasure (Eliot Grayson)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Short story explanation:

Eben unlike the original Ebenezer Scrooge is not an avaricious, grumpy old man, who hurt everyone around him with his indifference and greedy actions. He is a kind soul and has an entirely non-confrontational personality. He’s trying to escape arguments or uncomfortable situations by deflecting decisions, and delaying the inevitable. In the same time he does his best to mend what was broken by his fraudulent, late business partner. He doesn’t want to ask for help, because he doesn’t want that his employee or family to know that he was robbed blind by his late partner and their firm is going bankrupt.

To make matters worse, the eldest son of his secretary, Little Tim (Timothy Pratchett) turns up at the office to replace his father who has fallen ill right before Christmas. Tim is a giant of a man, and a war veteran trying to get a grip on his civil life. And they both have a crush on the other man.

Changes compared to the original story:

In this book there are no Christmas Ghosts, only a pagan Goddess who marked Eben when he was born, and who is really disappointed in Eben’s behavior, the way he’s not standing up for himself, the way he let others use him because he wants to avoid conflicts. So the Goddess curses him, and from that exact point, he is forced to speak his mind, he cannot keep his opinion and feelings to himself any longer.

In this novel Eben is the one who is used by his family members, other businessmen, all due to his inability to say no. He gives in in the majority of times, because he wants to be left in peace without any conflicts.

As I mentioned above, there are no Christmas Ghosts in this adaptation, so the visions/dreams induced by them are also lacking. Except for the future Christmas one, plot twist: which is as dreadful as the original story’s was.

To further emphasize the book’s remake nature, the most important names have been altered. Like Eben Sypeman (=Ebenezer Scrooge), Timothy Pratchett (=Tim Cratchit) etc.

Why I love it: I liked the Goddess intervention, making Eben to take the route predestined for him, and save everyone depending on his decisions. It was a very refreshing idea to read about an insecure, good “Scrooge” who’s just not courageous enough to do the right thing and act conscientiously.

My favorite scene:

“I’m simply —” He forced himself to stop, and succeeded primarily because he wasn’t at all certain what he was. He couldn’t lie, after all; the words stopped in his throat when he tried to say that he was simply dizzy from his tumble.

He couldn’t lie. Oh, buggering dreadful meddling goddesses, he couldn’t lie. “Oh no,” he whispered. “Oh no, oh no, oh no…”

“Mr. Sypeman, please! Tell me what’s wrong — I’ll fetch a doctor, there’s one with an examining room just down the way near the market, it won’t take me so very long —”

“Don’t!” Eben cried, and lurched out of the chair, desperate to get away. But Timothy was too close, and his arms were on either side of Eben’s body. Timothy ended by falling back against the desk, Eben tumbling after and landing sprawled across his chest.

Christmas Can Kiss My Dickens (Hunter Frost)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Short story explanation:

Tim Cratchit is living his life bound to his wheelchair, and hating every merriment of the Christmas season. He’s leading his lending company with strong and unkind hands. He hates meaningless gifts with fervor and it is forbidden to his employees to present him with anything. And here enters Henry Scott, the best worker of Tim’s company who’s rewarded only with harsh words and a messy kiss after giving Tim presents which torments Tim in a huge extent – he almost got run over by a taxi on his way home. After that quasi-accident Tim’s long dead uncle appears before him to show his lost nephew the past, present and future Christmases in the most inappropriate moments.

Changes compared to the original story:

There are no Chirstmas Ghosts, only the uncle showing Tim different periods of his life and bits of his future if he doesn’t change his ways. In this book, Tim is the one who became Scrooge, hating everything, even money in my opinion. Henry is an original character, but can be considered as the love interest of the original Scrooge (she breaks up with him because she feels money became more important to his man than their feelings for each other).

Why I love it:

I really liked the idea of tiny Tim becoming a heartless adult like the original Scrooge was. His uncle was a very good replacement of Marley in the original version of A Christmas Carol. Marley was Scrooge’s business associate who died unexpectedly, and came back as a ghost to warn Scrooge about the wrongness of his ways. In this book, the uncle was a good man with a weak heart who wanted the best of his brother’s children after their father’s passing. He comes back to save Tim, helping to figure out his feelings, his love for Henry.

My favorite scene:

“Why must I relive this dreadful day (the funeral of his father)?” Tim asked, his mood souring.

The priest tossed dirt onto the casket. It had been a beautiful ceremony, one Tim’s family would never have been able to afford at such an affluent cemetery. Ed had paid for the entire affair. Tim had been surprised his mother accepted the money, considering her pride, but appearances had always been important to her.

“I fear you’ve become a lot like me before I was shown the truth,” Ed (the uncle) said.

“And what truth was that?” The rain came down harder now.

“That life’s not worth living as an asshole.”

“Deep, Ed. Deep,” Tim replied. He’d been called an asshole twice today (first by Henry)—by the living and the dead. That had to be some kind of record.

You Got Scrooged (A.J. Truman)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Short story explanation:

Geoff Anderson had everything an aspiring actor needed to have, except the main role to land him straight in Broadway. That role was snatched from him and given to his ex-boyfriend in the last minute, who then became everything Geoff was deprived of. And Geoff grew up, became actor nonetheless, spent several years in New York waiting for his big chance, being bitter ever since. Then he returns to his hometown, and becomes a community theatre actor where again the lead-role (Scrooge of A Christmas Carol) is snatched from him and given to an amateur, Harvey. And Geoff is left with the role of Bob Cratchit.

After the Christmas Eve’s performance of A Christmas Carol, Geoff shouts inconsiderate, rude things to his fellow actors then storms off the theatre. During his way home, his car refuses to work in the middle of a hail storm, and Geoff gets saved by the most unexpected man ever – Harvey – who drags Geoff along to a Christmas party refusing to leave the other alone at Christmas.

Changes compared to the original story:

The original work of Dickens is only present in the book as a parable, a guideline and an environment making the characters come together. At first Geoff is deaf and blind to the others’ life crisises, because he’s so full of his own pain. When he’s mingling with others at the Christmas party, he registers their problems, their hardships, even manages to see the resemblance to the troubled situations the original characters of A Christmas Carol are in, but he cannot find it in him to care. There are no ghosts or Christmas spirits, only Harvey to show Geoff that so little could be enough for happiness. And also there are no visions in this book except for the future Christmas to come and only painful memories of the past…

Why I love it:

I loved Harvey. He is such a bright soul. He’s unbelievably naive though, but likable nonetheless. I loved Geoff too even if he’s not a great character or the best of soul. He was just human, bitter because of real or fancied wrongs enacted against him. He’s unable to forget or forgive, wallowing in his self-induced misery. He cannot see how damaging his behavior is, how he is the only reason of his own misery. He is in dire need of someone to open his eyes on the wrongness of his ways. And that someone is Harvey.

My favorite scene:

“I have a confession,” he (Harvey) said. “I could’ve just driven you home when I found you stranded, but I thought it was a sign.”

“Of what?”

“I’ve been wanting to ask you out all during rehearsal, but I couldn’t work up the nerve. You were a little unapproachable, always in the zone. I figured when I saw your car, that was as good a time as ever. I wanted our time to last.”

These are my favorite A Christmas Carol adaptations. I hope you liked them as much I did.

Notes

  • Source of book covers: Goodreads
  • Source of cover image: unsplash.com (Sherise)

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