“Aw. Isn’t that swell!” (Or, “How I learned to love ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol.’)

It has likely not escaped your notice that I’ve not often been a giant fan of Christmas.

I know, I know. Shocking.


Best audio version ever.

One of the few things I do love, however, is A Christmas Carol. I re-listen to the audiobook version (performed by Patrick Stewart) every year, and at some point—two days ago, this year—my husband and I sit down and watch the 1951 Alastair Sim movie version.

In black and white.

This is my favourite version, and was always the one we played at my home growing up. How it managed to continue to be my favourite, I’m not sure. Many things that remind me of my youth are things I no longer like to think about, but Alastair Sim, dancing about on Christmas morning somehow slices right past my agnostalgia and gives me a smile of joy.

Frankly, it’s one of the few pieces of the holidays I have always enjoyed, and as such, I try not to question it much.

My husband loves A Muppet Christmas Carol.



We watched it last night, as we do every year, and some odd things happened this year.

One, when we were watching the Alastair Sim version, at the point at which the voice-over explains that Tiny Tim doesn’t die, some force of nature drew forth an exclamation of “Aw. Isn’t that swell!” from me.

For those who know A Muppet Christmas Carol, this is Rizzo the Rat’s piece when Gonzo—sorry, Mr. Dickens—points out that Tiny Tim doesn’t die.

I’m not sure who was more surprised of the two of us.

Two, when we were watching A Muppet Christmas Carol, I found myself smiling and grinning and humming along to the opening song.

Obviously, something has shifted. It might be once more facet of joy sneaking back into the holiday now that the big boot heel of retail isn’t stomping on the season. It might be the reality that it has been decades—actual decades!—since my solo Christmas years.

And it might just be that A Muppet Christmas Carol isn’t so bad…


Probably not that.


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