Of course, Scrooge undergoes a complete transformation over the course of the story, but at its beginning, his most notable character trait is his miserliness. He refuses to give Christmas gifts, will not donate to charity, and even is reluctant to allow his employees to take Christmas Day off. He is a stingy, penny-pinching, greedy man, and the Christmas spirit is anathema to everything about him. In describing Scrooge's character traits, perhaps it is best to quote from the story, where he is introduced as
...a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!
Indeed, Scrooge is generally a miserable man, one who seems incapable of feeling or authentic emotion. The narrator tells us that even the dogs used by blind men to navigate the city avoid Scrooge. He mocks his nephew not only for celebrating Christmas, but also for marrying for love. It seems, really, that Scrooge, being chronically unhappy himself, is determined to make sure that nobody around him is happy either. After the visits of the ghosts, of course, Scrooge is completely transformed, and all the character traits that he exhibited at the beginning of the story are no longer in evidence.