AtmosFX Haunted Holidays: Creating A Christmas Carol at Home

It is no surprise to us that fans of AtmosFX have been looking for ways to creatively merge their love of decorating for Halloween and the Christmas season. In fact, we have been getting requests for this type of thing for what seems like forever. Or, at least, what seems like 1843. 

That, of course, was the year Charles Dickens published his famous holiday tale, “A Christmas Carol.” We can’t imagine there are many people who don’t know this story but, if you don’t, Dickens’ original title details why the story is such fertile ground for AtmosFX fans: “A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas.”

Start by setting the mood with classic holiday favorites like Here We Come A Wassailing performed by a Victorian-era vocal group from the Christmas Carolers Digital Decoration CollectionThen, perhaps set a snowy night scene on your window or wall using the Winter Wonderland Digital Decoration Collection.

If you don't have an actual fireplace, you can turn your TV or computer monitor into one. The individual decoration “Festive Fireplace” (from the Santa’s Visit Digital Decoration Collection) works great, as does “Holiday Hearth” individual decoration (from the Night Before Christmas Digital Decoration Collection). Both will give your home the perfect wintertime touch.

Now, onto the story. For those who haven’t read the story since middle school, it goes a little like this: On Christmas eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley.

Marley says he’s too much a, uh, scrooge during Christmas, and needs to lighten up. So, Scrooge’s former partner sends three Christmas ghosts – Past, Present and Future – to scare a little good cheer into the miserly ol’ grouch.

For those who’d like to portray part, or the whole, of this classic tale in their display, AtmosFX Digital Decoration Collections Bone ChillersGhostly Apparitions, Macabre ManorPhantasms and Marley’s Ghost should get you most of the way there. 

Marley’s Ghost

The first ghost of Dickens’ tale is the former business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. Jacob Marley has always been a compelling character for us here at AtmosFX, and we were extremely excited to be create this character as part of Marley’s Ghost Digital Decoration. Marley’s Ghost appears significantly worn down from the heavy chains in which he is bound. Or, perhaps he’s simply exhausted from years of working with Scrooge.

Ghost of Christmas Past

You have some flexibility when portraying the first Christmas ghost – in all the film and TV adaptations, the ghost had been characterized both male and female, young and old, beautiful and ugly. We are going to go with the “Seductive Siren” from the Phantasms Digital Decoration Collection – her ephemeral nature makes her a great spirit to lure ol’ Ebenezer down memory lane. Another option, for similar reasons, could be “Beckoning Beauty” from Ghostly Apparitions Digital Decoration Collection.

Ghost of Christmas Present

Dickens referred to this spirit as a “jolly giant,” and the character is commonly associated with Father Christmas. Sure, you could use “Singing Santa” from Night Before Christmas and stay mostly thematic but, it may confuse people. We suggest using “Head of the House” from the Ghostly Apparitions Digital Decoration Collection instead. Yes, it is true that, in Dickens’ tale, this ghost is jolly and the “Head of the House” is not. But who really remembers this? We think people are more likely to remember the ghost’s large and imposing stature, not necessarily his jolliness. But if anyone points out this revision, simply praise them for reading the book and pass them another egg nog.

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

For this one, you can choose either “Wicked Wraith from the Phantasms Digital Decoration Collection or the “Fear the Reaper” from the Bone Chillers Digital Decoration Collection. This spirit was intended to be the scariest of Dickens’ creations, and has been often associated with the Grim Reaper. The hooded shroud of the Phantasms creature portrays exactly what Dickens was going for — a dark terrifying spirit who was sure to make ol’ Ebenezer rethink his ways.

Bonus: The Cratchit Family

For those who want extra credit: Consider using “Family Unit 2” from the Macabre Manor Digital Decoration Collection to portray the family once burdened by Scrooge’s crankiness. This, of course, is the famed Tiny Tim’s family, who is saved by Scrooge’s change of heart. The family dancing together suggests joyful occasion, and the fact that Tiny Tim can actually dance without his crutches helps, too. End with the “Victorian Tree” from the Virtual Christmas Tree Digital Decoration Collection and you have a complete story with a beginning, middle, and merriment.

And save 50% on many of the decorations listed above through December 1st with our Create Your Own Christmas Carol Sale!

How would you create a story-themed evening AtmosFX Digital Decorations for A Christmas Carol? Or, perhaps, another story! Send us your photos and videos using this easy submission form!

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