"Bah! Humbug!" exclaims Ebenezer Scrooge when his nephew, Fred, wishes him a merry Christmas in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Indeed, Scrooge despises Christmas and anything to do with it. He tells himself that it is a disruption to his business. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, always wants the whole day off, and that is never convenient. In fact, it is anything but convenient, for it interrupts a whole day of business and money-making, and Scrooge simply cannot abide by that. When poor Bob observes that Christmas comes but once a year, Scrooge retorts, "A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!"
Really, though, there is something deeper in Scrooge that leads him to hate Christmas. The cheer, goodwill, happiness, and joy that he sees all around him at Christmastime remind Scrooge of how little he himself has of any of these. Scrooge is not a happy man, and his misery is the result of his own choices. Deep down, he knows this, and it makes him angry. Of course, he doesn't care to admit that, so he turns his anger upon Christmas, the happiest time of the year.
Further, the Christmas season recalls all kinds of memories that Scrooge would rather remain buried deep within. He doesn't want to remember the festive times at old Fezziwig's when he would wholeheartedly join in the merry-making. He doesn't want to remember the horrible night when his beloved released him from his promise to her because she had realized that she had been replaced in his heart by a golden idol. Yet Christmas brings all these memories up year after year, so he once again directs his anger toward Christmas itself.