Six Life Lessons from ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

Books, life

As we engross ourselves in this Christmas season, we must not lose our values in the modern obsession of buying things. It’s nice to give gifts, but the holidays are about so much more than that.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens created a popular concept that has been reiterated throughout tons of movies and publications since the 1843 release. The attention is rightfully earned as there are many lessons to be learned from this novella.

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Here are the top nine most meaningful messages we should all heed:

1 – Being harsh towards others will end up burdening the soul.

“The cold within him froze his old features.” Narrator (Stave One)

“I wear the chain I forged in life…” Marley’s Ghost (Stave One)

“…if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.” Marley’s Ghost (Stave One)

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Not only does it make others feel inadequate, but being cruel to people will come back to haunt in vicious ways. Try to never do wrong to another person, because all parties involved will end up being damaged.

2 – Events, people, and things do not need to be profitable in order to be meaningful.

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say.” Nephew (Stave One)

“…a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!” Nephew (Stave One)

“I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?” Nephew (Stave One)

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Whether it’s a friendship, a party, or a cheap item at a garage sale, it does not have to bring a profit in order to have value.

3 – Mind your own business.

“It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s.” Scrooge (Stave One)

“…for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it..” Narrator (Stave Three)

“It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.” The Ghost of Christmas Present (Stave Three)

Simple point – do not throw out opinions if the situation is not your own.

4 – Do not let golden idols replace your loved ones.

“What Idol has displaced you?” he rejoined.
“A golden one.” (Stave Two)

“You fear the world too much,” she answered, gently. “All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master-passion, Gain, engrosses you. Have I not?” (Stave Two)

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The companions closest to you, that you feel a connection with, are far more important than fortune. Good people are priceless.

5 – Money does not bring contentment.

“…we were poor and content to be so…” (Stave Two)

“…you who, in your very confidence with her, weigh everything by Gain…” (Stave Two)

“Avarice, had dealing, griping cares? They have brought him to a rich end, truly!” Narrator (Stave Four)

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If money is the goal of life, happiness will NEVER be possible.

6 – To have the heart of a child is admirable.

“…in short, I should have liked, I do confess, to have had the lightest licence of a child, and yet been man enough to know its value.” Narrator (Stave Two)

Sometimes it’s seen as irresponsible to laugh and have fun. But in truth, it’s actually wise to retain these traits in adulthood.


These fifteen quotes from A Christmas Carol provide insights to a life we should all live. If the lessons are heeded we will all be better for it.

As a society, we have lost the values instilled in this novella. It would do the world a huge favor for us fall back into the mindset of A Christmas Carol.

Thank you so much for reading this post and I wish you a very happy and content holiday season.

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All photos and quotes come directly from the book itself (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843)

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