As we head into October more than 100,000 overall votes so far have been cast – and Ebenezer Scrooge is getting his share.
Scrooge is a character in the classic Christmas tale known as A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge is introduced to us as a cold-hearted and mean-spirited businessman who has seemingly lost his humanity. When collectors for a local charity comes calling for donations at Christmastime Scrooge famously asks “Are there no poorhouses?”
As he prepares for bed one Christmas Eve he is confronted by a spirit, his deceased partner, Jacob Marley.
Marley is wearing a long and burdensome chain that he says is symbolic of his greed and callousness to his fellow man. Marley warns Scrooge that he has a similar chain and that he is doomed to Marley’s sad fate if he does not change his ways.
Marley explains that Scrooge would be visited by three Ghosts whose purpose was to help him redeem himself.
A Christmas Carol is so beloved as a Christmas story because of the lessons that Scrooge learns. His transformation from the beginning of the story to the end is not only a tale of redemption but also a message of hope that Christmas enthusiasts enjoy hearing every holiday season.
~ The Influence of Scrooge
Written in 1843, the “novella” by Charles Dickens made Scrooge a household name.
More than that — “Scrooge” has become an adjective and a verb. Someone who is a “Scrooge” is considered miserly, cheap, mean, and cruel. To “Scrooge” something is to cheapen it, to take a short cut or to dismiss it out-of-hand.
Scrooge is known for both good and evil. Nineteenth century newspapers were known for labeling politicians, clergy and other famous individuals for their “Scrooge-like” qualities. They could be savvy and shrewd for their skills in business as a Scrooge, or a tight-fisted or unfeeling individual. It just depended upon the context.
Charles Dickens himself loved to portray Scrooge on stage. Later in his career, he was famous for his readings of A Christmas Carol and of the Scrooge character in particular.
The book was an immediate sensation and was quickly adapted for the stage. In it’s 170+ year history the character of Ebenezer Scrooge has taken to countless stages, large and small. Dozens of radio shows, films, and musical recordings depicting Scrooge and A Christmas Carol have been produced.
For many seeing a version of the story whether live on a stage or on a screen makes their Christmas season complete.
Scrooge was nominated to the inaugural class of the Christmas Hall of Fame based on a survey of more than 5000 individuals before Christmas 2019. As a nominee he was in the top five percent of all survey respondents as a character of influence in Christmas history and culture.
If he is NOT inducted in the class of 2020 he will remain on the Christmas Hall of Fame ballot for five years.