‘A Christmas Carol’ saved Dickens from crushing debt

It isn’t really Christmas without “A Christmas Carol.” Since 1843, when Charles Dickens published what he called his “little Christmas book,” it’s never gone out of print — selling countless copies and spawning thousands of plays, readings, TV shows and movies starring everyone from Alastair Sim, George C. Scott and Christopher Plummer, to Jim Carrey, Scrooge McDuck and the Muppets.