|A Christmas Carol, Special Edition|
Christmas does not begin in my home until November 27th. While friends and some lone ranger neighbors have had their trees up and outside lights on for weeks now, I’m just not one of those gals. I love celebrating Thanksgiving and strive to keep the two holidays separate.
Imagine my family’s surprise when I (the gal who does not so much as look at decorations in Wal-Mart in November) announced last week we would begin using Stephen Skelton’s new A Christmas Carol Special Edition as our family reading / devotion. I’ve trained my children right—they immediately objected– “It’s not Christmas yet.”
My lone support came from a most unlikely source, my five-year old. His only question was, “If we read the book, can we go see the new Disney movie when we’re done?”
Stephen Skelton has created a work of art in this special edition of Charles Dickens tale. Using the original 1843 text, Skelton includes insights and definitions in the margins of each page. It is not overwhelming, just the opposite, as it brings new perspective to Dickens classic. Did you know the description of Scrooge’s nephew is actually Dickens? Or, did you know the word carol in 1843 meant a song celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? So focused was Dickens on the concept of the Christmas carol (song celebrating Jesus) that each chapter is called a stave, a stanza of a song.
In addition to enlightening readers along the way, Skelton includes powerful discussion questions at the end of each stave (chapter). My family is currently discussing the selfishness and greed of Scrooge and what it looks like in our own lives. Key verses such as Mark 8:36, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” are understandable even for young children.
Because it is understandable for children to listen to as a read-aloud family study, do not think it is not meaty enough for adults to appreciate. This special edition is a beautifully put-together Bible study that will encourage individual readers, small groups, and book clubs. It would also be a good study for teens.
The compact paperback is just five staves (chapters) long and can be read quickly or relished slowly. Disney just released their highly anticipated A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. Reading the original tale and discussing it beforehand will bring new meaning to the story as it comes alive on screen.
To celebrate the release of Skelton’s special edition A Christmas Carol, MMCW has been given a copy to give away. You have five opportunities to enter:
1. Comment here, sharing a favorite movie version, line, or story memory.
2. Join our Facebook group. (Post you have joined back here!)
3. Follow us on Twitter. (Post you are now following us back here!)
4. Subscribe to our daily posts. (Post you are now subscribed back here!)
5. Forward this post to at least 5 friends. (Post that you forwarded the post back here!)
For each item you complete make a separate comment on the post. I will use Random.org to choose a winner on November 30th.
“I have always striven in my writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of our Saviour.” ~Charles Dickens, in a Response to the Rev. John M. Makeham, written on June 8, 1870, the day before Dickens’ death.