It started yesterday afternoon with the 1938 version of "A Christmas Carol" on TCM. That version stars Reginald Owens as Ebenezer Scrooge. It's a faithful adaptation, but my favorite, by far, is 1951's "Scrooge" starring Alastair Sim.
While TCM seems to show the 1938 version each year, I can't find any channel showing "Scrooge." But thanks to the magic of YouTube, I was able to watch the entire thing online. (Click the link to watch the first 10 minutes, then watch #2 through #9 for the rest of the film.)
The 1951 movie holds a special place in my heart because one of my hometown television stations showed it every Christmas Eve after the late news. I would beg to stay up and watch, then lie awake, afraid the ghosts would come and show me the error of my ways.
I love this movie and I love the story of "A Christmas Carol." I watch the movie nearly every Christmas season and have read the book multiple times. It's such a wonderful story of redemption -- none of us are past hope if we're still alive. As a child, I didn't understand Dickens' criticism of the debtors' prisons and poorhouses, but I knew what it meant to be charitable and I loved the wonderful scary chills the movie gave me.
My other Christmas favorites are "Prancer" for all its sweet cheesiness (and Sam Elliot!), the animated "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (of course) and "Scrooged."
Put a little love in your heart!