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Reviving A Family Tradition

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There had been many versions of A Christmas Carol filmed since Charles Dickens first penned his holiday tale, some in black and white and some in color. There were animated versions, musical versions, a live-action version with The Muppets, and even a cartoon where the near-sighted Mr. Magoo played Scrooge, but Sean’s favorite had always been the 1951 British version starring Alistair Sim. Nobody did Dickens like the English, and Sim was simply perfect in the role, running the gamut of emotions required to portray Ebenezer Scrooge during his transformation from humbug to believer.

Sean hadn’t even been born when the movie first played in theaters, but he’d watched it on television more times than he could remember when he was growing up, and it eventually became a family event for Sean and his folks. Every Christmas Eve, they’d sit in the living room and watch the classic by the light of their Christmas tree, at least while Sean was still young enough to think spending Christmas Eve at home with his parents was a cool thing to do.

During Sean’s teenage years, he’d abandoned Christmas Eves at home with his parents in favor of the holiday parties at the homes of his friends, and once he’d moved into his own place, his Christmas Eves had been spent at gay bars, looking for hookups.

By the time he was in his early thirties, those hookups had lost their appeal. Sean was ready to settle down and begin a life together with someone special, but since the men he met in bars didn’t share his desire for monogamy, much less domesticity, he frequented the bars less and less.

After his folks retired and moved to Arizona, running the Lucky Clover became a full-time job, leaving Sean little time for a personal life, so he’d spent most of what little free time he had alone, and had resigned himself to it being that way for the foreseeable future. It was then that his love of A Christmas Carol had come full circle.

For the past few years before Elijah had come into his life, even though he’d stopped putting up a Christmas tree, he’d returned to watching the holiday film on Christmas Eve Watching Alistair Sim on his flat screen gave new life to the film, and watching it was comforting, a reminder of happier, carefree days. But he didn’t intend to spend Christmas Eve this year with Charles Dickens’ grumpy miser.

Elijah seemed to have enjoyed spending their first two Christmas Eves at home decorating their tree, but he was young, and surely he’d have something more exciting in mind to do this year than staying at home and watching a movie. So he couldn’t have been more surprised when after they’d finished decorating their tree, Elijah had settled himself on the couch and asked, “Do you have a copy of A Christmas Carol, Sean?”

“I do.” Sean went to his DVD collection and pulled out his copy of the Alistair Sim version of the film. “This one from 1951 is the only version I have,” he explained, handing Elijah the case.

Elijah glanced at it then handed it back. “That’s lucky because this one happens to be my favorite.”

Pleased, Sean loaded the DVD into the player and then settled down beside Elijah on the couch. “That’s a coincidence because it just happens to be my favorite, too,” he said.

As they watched the movie by the light of the Christmas tree, Sean decided that beginning a new family tradition might be a wonderful thing, but reviving an old one was even better.