A Toast…to a “Dickens December”!

Wherein the #DickensClub (The Dickens Chronological Reading Club) Proposes a few ideas on group–and other–events going on in the Dickensian Community over the holidays.

by John Leech for A Christmas Carol. Scanned image by Philip V. Allingham. Via Victorian Web.

by Rach, Boze, & Chris

“I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

~ “A Christmas Carol”

Happy Thanksgiving and a Very Merry holiday season, friends! Can you believe it has been nearly a year since we began reading Dickens chronologically together? What a joy it is that Dickens continues to inspire, entertain, enlighten, and bring people together.

A few of us thought it might be helpful to have a little “calendar” of sorts for some of the events in the wider Dickensian community that might be of interest over the holidays, and to have a place to share comments on them.

If you have other ideas, please feel free to share, and we’ll alter the post as needed!

Here are some quick links:

  1. Events (Dickens Club, and non-Dickens Club)
  2. Favorite Dickensian Holiday Films
  3. Dickensian Christmas Books on Audio
  4. Other/Misc

Events (Dickens Club, and non-Dickens Club)

Thurs, 24 Nov

(Non-Dickens Club; Paid event) The Dickens Museum presents “Mr Dickens is Coming!” 7:30pm GMT/11:30am PT

For more information, please click here.

December (Ongoing)

Rach will be posting daily with the hashtag #DickensDecember on twitter and mastodon. She might also try and repeat it on Instagram too. These are often events and notes in Dickens’ life, or related to his works, that have an association with the day, though not always.

Sun, 4 Dec

(Non-Dickens Club; Paid Event) The Dickens Museum Presents “The Haunted Man”: A Virtual Performance, 7:30pm GMT/11:30am PT

Performed by James Swanton. More information here.

6-19 Dec

(Dickens Club) BREAK between reads

This might be an ideal time to watch a Dickensian holiday favorite, and comment on it? Or to watch the 1994 BBC series adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit.

Sat, 10 Dec

(Dickens Club) Second Online Group Chat: American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit, 7pm GMT/2pm ET/11am PT.

If you’re interested in joining us (even if you’re not up on the books–just know there will be spoilers!) please feel free to contact Rach via email, or DM her on twitter!

Tues, 13 Dec

(Non-Dickens Club; paid event) The Dickens Museum presents “Six Weeks to Write a Masterpiece: Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol,” 6pm GMT/10am PT

Boze and Rach plan on attending this one. For more information, please click here. Talk by Lucinda Hawksley, 3x-great-granddaughter of the Inimitable.

Wed, 14 Dec

(Non-Dickens Club; paid event) Charles Dickens’s Christmas in America (a talk by Lucinda Hawksley), 6pm GMT/10am PT

Boze and Rach plan on attending this one. For more information, see the Eventbrite link.

Favorite Dickensian Holiday Films

A Christmas Carol (1951, a.k.a. Scrooge)

This is a traditional Christmas Eve watch at Rach’s household.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Rees/Petherbridge Stage Production, 1982)

Though perhaps not one we think of as directly associated with Christmas, Rach and Gabriela watch this every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Dana & Daniel often join in too. Its genuinely Christmas spirit is particularly pronounced during the final, unforgettable minute–though not to give away anything crucial–to the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.”

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Many think this is among the most faithful adaptations of the Dickens classic! An annual favorite in several of our Dickens Club’s households. Michael Caine belongs in the Ebenezer Scrooge Hall of Fame.

Scrooge (1970)

Boze, Dana, Daniel and Rach will all be watching Scrooge together this December. Brimming with weird invention and sly wit, it deserves to be as beloved as the Muppets.

Dickens’ Christmas Books on Audio


Our Dickens Club member, Rob Goll, will soon be offering a collection of Dickens’ Christmas Books on audio! Currently you can purchase several of them individually via Audible. See Rob’s wonderful collection on his website for more info!

“A Christmas Carol,” read by Frank Muller

HIGHLY recommended by Boze and Rach. On Audible, and…

“A Christmas Carol,” read by Patrick Stewart

A favorite with some of our #DickensClub members. Available via Audible, and elsewhere. (Check your local library!)

Jim Dale, reader extraordinaire, performs “A Christmas Carol” via the link below.



“A Christmas Carol” 1939 Radio Play with Orson Welles and Lionel Barrymore
Welles narrates and Barrymore, Old Man Potter himself, plays Scrooge in this classic Mercury Theater recording.
Mr. Pickwick’s Christmas

Remember that delightful Dingley Dell Christmas chapter in The Pickwick Papers? Or “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton”? Or the skating incident? Gutenberg has a free copy of the delightful Christmas passages in Mr. Pickwick’s Christmas with gorgeous illustrations by George Alfred Williams.

George Alfred Williams, Mr. Pickwick’s Christmas
Of course, you can always read “A Christmas Carol” or Dickens’s other Christmas books aloud, too!

Boze and Rach recently did, and are tempted to do it again! But have you considered reading with a flickering rush light, like the Victorians…?

Do you have any other suggestions for our list, friends and Dickensians?

A toast to a very Dickens December!


  1. Rach, Boze, and Chris!

    You really have given us a wonderful holiday gift: all of these treasures!

    Thanks so much. What a lovely way to commemorate almost a year of the DCRC, and to launch and enrich the happiest of holiday seasons.

    I must enthusiastically commend Rob Goll’s top-flight audio renderings. I listened to a number of the offerings on his website, and they are excellent–in cadence, interpretation.

    Thank you, Rob, for sharing your gifts with us!

    Is that really Gerald Dickens, in the CD lineage?!? Wow. So looking forward to witnessing his one-man portrait.

    Thanks much for this collage of Christmas holiday brightenings!


    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is controversial but I don’t understand why so many people consider the 1951 Scrooge to be the ultimate Christmas Carol movie. Don’t get me wrong. It has a lot of good/great things about it, but I happen to feel there are plenty of other movie versions with just as many, if not more virtues. Part of it may be that I don’t love Alistair Sim as Scrooge. He has such a pleasant, goofy looking face that I can’t quite take him seriously in the role. I’d be happy to read why other fans love the movie so much. I will say that the added scene near the end of Mrs. Dilber is hilarious.

    I’d love to comment about my favorite adaptations of Dickens, but I have this blog where I write about adaptations, and I’m scared to give away too many of my opinions before I’ve written more Dickens-related posts.


  3. Thanks for including me in this wonderful list, Rach! 🙂

    I am hoping that the anthology of the Christmas Books will make it to Audible before Christmas. There have been quite lengthy publishing delays of late… but it is in the queue, at least.

    In addition to the 5 Christmas Books, the anthology will also contain: A Christmas Tree, What Christmas Is As We Grow Older, The Poor Relation’s Story, The Child’s Story, The Schoolboy’s Story and Nobody’s Story.

    All in all there is almost 20 hours of CD’s Christmas publications in one volume

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh WOW, Rob!!!!! I was just going over comments I might’ve missed, and…what a treasure the collection sounds like!!! Just within the last week or so, Boze read aloud to me “What Christmas is as We Grow Older” while skyping, and it had me completely in tears. I’m pretty sure I haven’t read some of the additional stories you mention…I absolutely cannot wait to get this collection 💙💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely love the Christmas lineup for December dear Rach! I can’t wait to join the reading of the Christmas books plus watching the Dickensian Holiday films and the Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby which has one of the most moving and greatest endings ever, with the Christmas feeling of God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen at the end. I love all film versions of A Christmas Carol, each one has a special magic and a special, different touch. My all time favorite is the musical version from 1970 with Albert Finney. It is a classic for my family. And I think that it is the only film version in which the same actor (Albert Finney) performs both the younger and older Ebenezer Scrooge. (I could be wrong though) One thing that I find curious from the musical version of Scrooge, is that I find the choreography of “Thank you very much” similar to the choreographies of the musical version of another Dickens’ classic adaptation, “Oliver!” (1968) The 1992 version with the Muppets with Michael Caine is another version that I love very much and it is along with the version with Albert Finney, my favorite. I also enjoy so much the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, I find curious that in the Alastair Sim version, they added Jacob Marley’s death. Another version that I recommend is the George C Scott version, in which has Roger Rees as Fred. A different and very interesting version of A Christmas Carol that I love, is the ballet version with the northern ballet theater, it is still available on Youtube and my family and I also watch it every Christmas time. The dancing and choreography in this version is amazing and dancer Jeremy Kerridge is incredible as Scrooge.
    I am more than ready to read (both in the Spanish and English editions) of A Christmas Carol!
    I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and the most wonderful, Dickensian Christmas time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Correcting my spelling mistake, Alistair Sim. (sorry about that )
      Also, I just wanted to add, the only, little thing that I don’t like from the Ballet version from the Northern Ballet Theater is the small part of the tavern in the Ghost of the Christmas yet to come part. Other than that, the ballet version is wonderful and it is one of my favorite different versions of A Christmas Carol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, thank you so much for the reminder about the Ballet!!!! I LOVED THAT! I was so impressed when I watched it a few years ago after your recommendation, and I really need to go watch it again, and add it to the list! 💙


    2. YAY! Dearest Gaby, thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful insights and recommendations! Boze and Luke & my parents and I just did our annual viewing of the Finney Scrooge, and we’ll be watching the Sim version for Christmas…I haven’t seen the George C Scott version in *ages* but I did go to watch a scene with Fred, for Roger! 😍 So many wonderful films…and of course…THE MUPPETS! I love your insights about the choreography in “Thank you Very Much” echoing that of “Oliver!” I have had that song in my head for most of the last week and 1/2!


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