Charles Dickens really couldn’t have known what he created back in 1843 when he first published his story A Christmas Carol. This tale must have been made and adapted for film and television more than any other literary work ever. As well as countless film versions telling the story pretty much unaltered, many TV shows (especially US ones) have taken the idea and adapted it for Christmas specials of their own.
Personally, my favourite version (and apologies to the Muppets because I did like their version too) is the 1988 film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray as the Scrooge like Frank Cross. Whilst it changes some details of the story to bring things up-to-date (for example, Frank Cross is the boss of a TV Station, rather than a money lender, or whatever Ebenezer was supposed to be) the basic premise of the story survives intact.
Frank’s TV company is attempting a world’s first for their Christmas extravaganza. A live transmitted version of A Christmas Carol. Frank’s motives in this are more driven by money and greed than by presenting a good Christmas message. He had a bit of a miserable childhood, so doesn’t really take much interest in Christmas celebrations.
Frank is first visited by the ghost of his long dead boss, who warns him that he is to be visited that evening by three more ghosts who will show him his past, present and future, in an effort to make him change his ways. Frank, unsurprisingly perhaps, believes he has just been hallucinating, but he begins to change his mind as the ghosts start to pay him visits.