Coldhearted Ebenezer Scrooge has no use for Christmas cheer. He rejects a dinner invitation from his jolly nephew, scolds charity workers, and very begrudgingly allows his clerk a day off. All the warmth and joy of the holiday are humbug to Scrooge until Jacob Marley, his long-dead business partner, pays a call. Marley's spirit is the first in a series of ghostly visitors who offer visions of the past, present, and future — warnings that transform a bitter old miser into a charitable and compassionate man. First published in 1843, A Christmas Carol was an instant success and has remained a holiday favorite ever since. The story has been adapted many times for stage and screen, but no version surpasses the sheer delight of Charles Dickens's original novella. As much a part of the season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this immortal tale continues to charm readers with its message of generosity and goodwill.