Ebenezer Scrooge is the most charming, lovable and delightfully rotten curmudgeon ever created. His lack of Christmas spirit is utterly refreshing. The sourpuss at the start is so much more entertaining than the transformed Ebenezer, who's about as interesting as egg nog.
When Dickens' A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843, London was one of the most dynamic cesspools in the civilized world. Every manner of vermin came from all over England to take in the city's slop-covered sights, bask in its sumptuous refuse and spread various and sundry plagues.
The stench was overpowering because the science of sewage disposal involved dumping everything that stank in the Thames. There were rats everywhere and they were not spreading holiday cheer. If St. Nick gave the children anything for Christmas, it was probably cholera.
It was the start of the Industrial Revolution, so a few greedy people were fabulously rich, while everybody else was too poor to buy houses with walls. Kind of like what we have now.