Christmas morning. People enjoy the holiday and hurry to pay tribute to Christmas. This is the only holiday when, as if by tacit agreement, everybody opens their hearts. Only Scrooge is indifferent to Christmas. He carries his own low temperature always about with him; he ices his office in the dogdays and doesn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. These are the days of mercy, kindness and forgiveness, but such feelings are unknown to Scrooge. As is compassion to his clerk, Bob Cratchit, who is freezing in Scrooge’s office.Even his nephew’s visit, his Christmas present and an invitation to a dinner party cannot touch the hardened heart of Scrooge, after all what’s Christmas time but a time for paying bills, a time for finding yourself a year older... It’s all humbug!
Scrooge goes home and shows off his maid, Mrs Dilber, even without paying her. Finally, he is alone in peace and quiet, but suddenly he hears the clanking noise, as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. Scrooge then remembers to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.
Scrooge does not believe in ghosts, but changes in the face when he sees his deceased partner, Jacob Marley, who died seven years ago.
Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life, his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate. He tells Scrooge that three ghosts will haunt him — for his own good. As Marley has promised, as soon as the clock strike the hour on the bell tower, there arrives the first spirit — the Ghost of Christmas Past. The phantom escorts Scrooge on a journey into the past to previous Christmases from the curmudgeon’s earlier years. Invisible to those he watches, Scrooge revisits his childhood days, his engagement to Belle, the girl who leaves Scrooge because his lust for money eclipses his ability to love another. Scrooge, deeply moved, sheds tears of regret before the phantom returns him to his bed.
The second guest, Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to Bob Cratchit’s house, where the whole family is busy getting ready for Christmas. Scrooge discovers Bob Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim, a courageous boy whose kindness and humility warms Scrooge’s heart. He learns from the Spirit, that, if the future changes nothing, the child will die. Then poverty and ignorance appear, leaving Scrooge horrified.
The third phantom — the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come — leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man’s recent death. Scrooge sees some vagabonds trading the dead man’s personal effects for cash, and a poor couple expressing relief at the death of their unforgiving creditor. Scrooge, anxious to learn the lesson of his latest visitor, begs to know the name of the dead man. Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. He desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate, promising to renounce his insensitive, avaricious ways and to honor Christmas with all his heart. Whoosh! He suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed. Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day, Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his newfound Christmas spirit.
He becomes as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laugh to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he is wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset.