Ebenezer Scrooge is a disagreeable, penny-pinching miser disliked by everyone. He runs a merciless money-lending company and employs quietly suffering Bob Cratchit as his Clerk on a meagre wage. On Christmas eve Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley, who warns him of the torment that awaits him in death if he does not change his ways, and prepares him for the arrival of three spirits. During the course of the night Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future who gradually open his eyes to the reality of his situation and the lives of those around him. The first ghost takes Scrooge to see his past as a boy at school and as a young man and reminds him of Belle, his lost love. The second ghost shows Scrooge the current poverty of the Cratchit family, with their ill son Tiny Tim, and how they remain happy in spite of their suffering. He also reveals the joyous Christmas of Scrooge's nephew Fred and his friends' attitude to his stingy uncle. The third ghost reveals a future where Scrooge has died alone and no one mourns him. Tiny Tim has also died, not in part due to his poverty. When Scrooge wakes up, relieved to be alive, it is Christmas Day. He vows to the spirits that he will be a changed man and indeed he is. He becomes a generous and happy soul, renewing his relationship with Fred, raising Bob Cratchit's salary, looking after Tiny Tim and spreading his wealth and good cheer as far as he can.
Notable versions include 'Scrooge', a musical adapted for the stage in 1992 from the film of the same name.