Additionally, one must consider the historical context in which Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, during the Industrial Revolution, a time of rapid economic and social change in Britain. London was teeming with new factories and the people who wanted to work in them, which meant that it was also teeming with air pollution, unclean bodies, and disease. Child labor was a new way for a family to earn money, and Dickens saw the overall situation to be grim at best. The child labor issue was a particularly sore spot for him, as he had left school at age twelve to work in a blacking factory after his father, the big spender, was sent to prison for unpaid debts. Dickens saw this time in England as being one of greater and greater class division, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and A Christmas Carol explores these themes. Scrooge, the villain (at first) is the epitome of the money-hungry, unfeeling businessmen that Dickens sought to criticize, and his employee, Cratchit, is the epitome of the poor worker in England, supporting as best he can, a family. By depicting Scrooge as separated from Christmas, while his poor employee, Cratchit, as well as the sailors and miners mentioned above, are celebrating Christmas, Dickens connected the idea of a Christmas spirit as being apart and separate from money and resources, an idea that continues to this day.
Interestingly, while Dickens may have held magnanimous ideals about humankind, and a writer's talent for expressing them through fiction, his creativity and competence did not extend to money management, for his skills more nearly resembled those of his father. For example, with the publication of A Christmas Carol, Dickens took an enormous financial hit, insisting that the book be published with the finest coverings available, as well as high-quality typesetting and gilt-edged paper--while charging a fraction of what the book should have been sold for, because he wanted it to be accessible to everyone, rich and poor alike.