Film Few genres are as time sensitive as the Christmas film. There's something inherently strange and unseasonal about watching a festive favourite at any time outside December up to the first six days of January. Indeed, in truth, once Boxing Day is finished, the shine is already off as the sentiments which the story is probably trying to communicate feel hollow somehow especially if like me you couldn't really enjoy Christmas as much as you'd like due to catching the lurgy which was floating around for 2016. The last thing you want is to see lots of shiny happy people having a marvellous time (at least by the end, Capra) when you're stuck in bed unable to eat anything solid.
A Christmas Carol (of which the Edison edition is my film of the year) is no exception. I try to watch an adaption of Dickens's story every Christmas and although, because of the sheer number of different examples, I've attempted to indulge as late as the Summer because there aren't enough years in a life, the juxtaposition of sun outside and snow on screen simply doesn't work. It's almost as though the emotional tug of the tale requires the viewer's shaky emotional state around Christmas time in order to work its magic. Perhaps we're at our most philosophical at the turning of the year, and a story designed to play into our own feelings of regret in order to create empathy for its protagonist is best viewed then.
Television series seem to have a counter effect. In the age of the boxed set and binges, especially when watching something from network television, we'll inevitably stumble upon a festive edition and in the best of examples it puts us right in the mood, makes us feel Christmassy for the duration, reminds us of what we like about the season. True there's the inevitable emptiness afterwards when we realise that the actual event is still nine months away, but the next episode is usually at the push of a button and we know that there'll probably be another festive edition within a dozen or so episodes. Or sooner in the case of modern Doctor Who.