Thanks, Mr. Dickens! Thanks, Ms. Abel! #MondayRecommends and #NailArt

Friend and fellow writer Dora Abel recommended that I watch THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, so she and Sara and I did. As authors, we loved the visualizations of

  • how we gather bits and pieces and slosh ’em around together until some of ’em stick together
  • how characters show up and we have conversations with them, asking them questions and using the answers to get to know them and get to know their voices and even let them supply some of their own dialog
  • how they sometimes try to bully us into making them do what THEY want to do, rather than what a good story requires them to do
  • how a twist or element sometimes comes in the middle of the night
  • how we sometimes have to dig deeply within ourselves to find depth for a character
  • how a character’s past and associations, whether we use them in the story or not, enrich and explain and motivate the character and deepen and validate the plot
  • how we sometimes have to threaten them with erasure to get them to reveal the aspects of themselves we need in order to make them really really real

This was all beautifully done in THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, besides it’s being perfectly costumed and set-dressed and beautifully acted.

I only had two quibbles about it: Jonathan Pryce has grown old. I mean, I know I have, but Jonathan Pryce??? That sweet, pretty li’l bubber? //weeps//

Second: DID Dickens really invent Christmas?

Well, of course not! Christmas was invented over 1000 years before Dickens, but he was part of a reinvigoration of the festivities.

At the beginning of the Victorian period the celebration of Christmas was in decline. The medieval Christmas traditions, which combined the celebration of the birth of Christ with the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia (a pagan celebration for the Roman god of agriculture), and the Germanic winter festival of Yule, had come under intense scrutiny by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell. The Industrial Revolution, in full swing in Dickens’ time, allowed workers little time for the celebration of Christmas.

The Charles Dickens Page: Charles Dickens Christmas!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL established Christmas as a time, not only of good cheer and familial warmth, but of generosity and mindfulness of the less fortunate. Not too shabby.

Here are my nails for this week:

The dark basecoat and dark stamp is Sally Hansen’s Pat on the Black (a gift from my late friend Jane). The light basecoat and stamp is L.A.Colors Color Craze’s Dazzle ($1.00 at the Family Dollar Store!). The purple crackle is Sally Hansen’s Vintage Violet, and the purple/blue/pink sparkle is L.A.Colors Color Craze’s Jewel Tone (also $1.00 at the Family Dollar). The plate is Maniology’s MXM051.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: If you’re a writer, how does your main character celebrate Christmas or some other culturally prominent holiday? Your antagonist? If you’re not a writer, what’s your favorite holiday tradition?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Thanks, Mr. Dickens! Thanks, Ms. Abel! #MondayRecommends and #NailArt

  1. Dan Antion

    December 13, 2021 at 7:46am

    Interesting post. I’d never heard of that movie. I knew some of the history, but I learned more here – those dang puritans.

    Cool nails.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 13, 2021 at 8:35am

      If the Puritans are the only ones going to heaven, I’d rather go wherever the water turns to wine.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 14, 2021 at 10:48am

      I like just about any Christmas Carol. Not all, but just about. I even like the Magoo Christmas Carol!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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