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The Ghost of Christmas Present

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The Ghost of Christmas Present with Ebenezer Scrooge

The Ghost of Christmas Present is a character from A Christmas Carol, one of the best-known works of the English novelist Charles Dickens. He closely resembles Father Christmas from local folklore.

Role in the story

The Ghost of Christmas Present was the second of the three spirits (after the visitation by Jacob Marley) that haunted the miser Ebenezer Scrooge in order to prompt him to repent. According to Dickens' novel, the spirit appears to Scrooge as "a jolly giant" with dark brown curls. He wears a fur-lined green robe and on his head a holly wreath set with shining icicles. He carries a large torch, made to resemble a cornucopia, and appears accompanied by a great feast. He states that he has had "more than eighteen hundred" brothers (in fact eighteen hundred and forty two) and later reveals the ability to change his size to fit into any space. He also has a scabbard with no sword in it, a representation of peace on Earth.

The spirit transports Scrooge around the city, showing him scenes of festivity and also deprivation that were happening as they watched, sprinkling a little warmth from his torch as he travels. Amongst the visits are Scrooge's nephew, Fred and the family of his clerk, Bob Cratchit. The spirit also shares a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch, carefully preserved by the fireplace. Scrooge asks if Tim will die. The spirit first states that "If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die" (i.e., Tim's illness is not inherently fatal, but the Cratchits lack the funds for Tim to receive proper treatment, courtesy of Scrooge's miserliness), then – quick to use Scrooge's past unkind comments toward two charitable solicitors against him – suggests he "had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." Scrooge is disgusted at his own words and is concerned for Tiny Tim and his family.

The spirit finally reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children, subhuman in appearance and loathsome to behold, clinging to his robes, and names the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. The spirit warns Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.", underscoring the book's social message. The spirit once again quotes Scrooge, who asks if the grotesque children have "no refuge, no resource," and the spirit retorts with Scrooge's same words, "Are there no prisons, no workhouses?", filling Scrooge with self-loathing.

The spirit, having already aged, reveals that he will only exist on Earth for a single year's Christmas holiday. (As the nature of the present is to only exist in the now, this is why this ghost can only exist for one Christmas, and why he has 1842 brothers. Note the year that Charles Dickens' story was published. This would be the 1843rd Ghost of Christmas Present.) He finally disappears at the stroke of midnight on Twelfth Night, and leaves Scrooge to face the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, as it approaches "like a mist along the ground".


Picture Performer Production Year Notes
Voiced by
Les Tremayne
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol 1962 In this adaptation, the spirit appears before the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Ghost of Christmas Present
Famous Classic Tales: A Christmas Carol 1969
Willie as The Ghost of Christmas Present
Willie the Giant
(voiced by Will Ryan)
Mickey's Christmas Carol 1983
Edward Woodward A Christmas Carol 1984 The spirit greatly resembles the illustrations in the Dickens version.
A Jetson Christmas Carol - The Ghost of Christmas Present
The Jetsons: "A Jetsons Christmas Carol" 1985 The spirit is represented as a Christmas present. [No pun intended]
Robbie Coltrane Blackadder's Christmas Carol 1988 Ebenezer Blackadder is visited by "The Spirit of Christmas", who bears a close resemblance to the Ghost of Christmas Present of Dickens' story.
Carol Kane Scrooged 1988 The spirit was a shrill woman-like fairy.
Jerry Nelson The Muppet Christmas Carol 1992 The Muppet portraying the spirit greatly resembles Dickens' version; however, the vile forms of Ignorance and Want are absent, most likely to make the film more suitable for children.
Dot makes her entrance
Dot Warner
(voiced by Tress MacNeille)
Animaniacs: "A Christmas Plotz" 1993
Marlon as the Ghost of Christmas Present
Marlon the Penguin
(voiced by Mike McShane)
Avenger Penguins: "A Christmas Carol" 1994
Ernie as the Ghost of Christmas Present
(voiced by Brian Cummings)
A Flintstones' Christmas Carol 1994 This character was earlier shown working as a Salvation Army Santa.
Rolly as the Ghost of Christmas Present
(voiced by Kath Soucie)
101 Dalmatians: "A Christmas Cruella" 1997
Desmond Barrit A Christmas Carol 1999 The spirit greatly resembles the illustrations in the Dickens version.
(voiced by Michael Donovan)
Adventures from the Book of Virtues: "Compassion" 2000
Roger Taylor A Diva's Christmas Carol 2000
William Shatner A Carol Christmas 2003 Shatner, who played a fictional TV host named Dr. Bob, also appears to Carol Cartman as the spirit, who has an annoying habit of speaking in cliches.
Looney-tunes-christmas-poster - copia
Yosemite Sam
(voiced by Maurice LaMarche)
Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas 2006
Carol-disneyscreencaps com-5364
Voiced by
Jim Carrey
A Christmas Carol 2009 The spirit greatly resembles the version in the novel.
David Tennant The Catherine Tate Show 2009 This version of the spirit has a goth-like appearance and talks and acts flamboyantly.
Smurf Of Christmas Present
Brainy Smurf
(voiced by Fred Armisen)
The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol 2011 Brainy Smurf dresses in a green robe with white fur trim and a holly wreath with candles for a crown, just like the one in the book. He even uses one of the candles to draw.
Instantánea 2 (19-12-2012 20-12)
(voiced by Daneboe)
The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange: "Orange Carol" 2012
Beto La CQ: "Christmas in the CQ" 2012
Pinkie Pie
(voiced by Andrea Libman, singing voice by Shannon Chan-Kent)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: "A Hearth's Warming Tail" 2016 Pinkie Pie plays a character similar to the Ghost of Christmas Present named the Spirit of Hearth's Warming Presents.

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