A Thanksgiving Carol

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#173: “A Thanksgiving Carol”
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1 Thessalonians 5:18
18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

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Current user rating: 91/100 (29 votes)

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A Thanksgiving Carol
“A Thanksgiving Carol” is episode #173 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on November 23, 1991.

Summary

Whit and the gang use Kids' Radio to tell Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with an unusual twist.

Plot

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Eugene and Connie are in the midst of yet another disagreement, this time about Thanksgiving. Eugene believes that, in this modern age, God isn’t at all part of the holiday. Connie feels just the opposite. They both go to Whit to settle the matter. He does resolve things, by agreeing with Eugene! Whit explains that many people don’t associate Thanksgiving with God. To most people, the holiday is just a lot of good food, a day off from work, football games, and a parade on TV.

But Whit has a plan to change all that, via a Kids' Radio production of “The Thanksgiving Carol,” an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” The characters are all similar: the miserly money-lender Ebenezer Stooge, who has a stony heart and a mind dulled from greed; his overworked clerk Bob Wretched, who makes barely enough to feed his wife and 10 children; Teeny Tom, Wretched’s crippled youngest son; the haunting Jacob Arley, Ebenezer’s late partner who bears the pocket full of change he forged in life (and sounds suspiciously like a long-lost AIO character); and Terrance Clodbody, the ghost of Thanksgiving past, present, and future.

Through their actions, Stooge learns the true meaning of Thanksgiving, including to whom we’re all giving thanks. God bless us, every one!

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Eugene think God has nothing to do with Thanksgiving?
    • Was he right?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think some people would like to permanently take God out of Thanksgiving?
  3. What are some other holidays in which God is no longer an important part?
    • How can you focus on Him during those special days?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
Bob Wretched Will Ryan
Boy on the street Katie Leigh
Cheerful Lady Katie Leigh
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Ebenezer Stooge Dave Madden
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Jacob Arley Will Ryan
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Man at the mission Will Ryan
Teeny Tom Katie Leigh
Terrance Clodbody Hal Smith
Mrs. Wretched Katie Leigh


Notes

Trivia
  • This was the last program recorded in the Pomona, California studios. At this point Focus on the Family had finally moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado; for Adventures in Odyssey, the new recording home would be a rented studio in Burbank, California, since most of the actors lived in southern California.
  • Jacob Arley is a sly reference to David Harley, a dim-witted police officer who was removed from the show after parents complained. The name is also a reference to Jacob Marley from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".
  • This episode was made into an AIO Activity Pack, A Thanksgiving Carol, Volume #9
  • A Thanksgiving parody would be done again years later in #675: “A Thankstaking Story”.
Allusions
Main article: List of It’s a Wonderful Life References

Quotes

Ebenezer Stooge: What, through that very dirty window?

Jacob Arley: Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuuuuuuse~! Whooooo~!

Ebenezer Stooge: You're not going to take me to the cemetery to show me my future? Here lies Ebenezer Stooge, pauper, hated by one and all?
Terrance Clodbody: Well, I'd like to, but I can't. It's not in the budget. Besides, you don't have to see all that to know the right thing to do. The lonely grave will only be your future if you want it to be, Ebenezer. It's up to you. But if you do want to change, being thankful for the right reasons is a good place to start.

Ebenezer Stooge: I'm confused, Spirit. The Wretcheds, the people at the mission — they have nothing. And yet they are still thankful.
Terrance Clodbody: And you have everything, but are not.
Ebenezer Stooge: Well, it doesn't make any sense.
Terrance Clodbody: It would if you knew what they knew.
Ebenezer Stooge: What? What do they know?
Terrance Clodbody: That true happiness does not lie in things, but in the Maker of all things.
Ebenezer Stooge: You mean, God?
Terrance Clodbody: Yes. The one who truly understands that can be thankful in any situation, whether rich or poor, well-fed or hungry, in good health or gravely ill. Earlier, this afternoon, you asked Bob Wretched what God has to do with Thanksgiving. Well, that is what He has to do with it. Take Him out, and the holiday becomes meaningless.

Teeny Tom: I'm so happy I could bust!