The story has been credited with both revitalizing Christmas as an important holiday (for a while it was closer in relevance to Arbor Day) and popularizing certain Christmas traditions, like carols and getting together with your family to eat so much food that the limits of the human body are tested. It delivers a timeless, touching message about the importance of family and goodwill toward your fellow human being ... a message that Dickens completely failed to follow in his own life.
Dickens Was A Monster To His Wife ... Who Always Refused To Stoop To His Level
For starters, Dickens' attitude toward family was far closer to Scrooge's, except instead of being fueled by greed, he was just a horny old bastard. His ability to market orphans as adorable made him the 19th century version of a rock star, and like a rock star, he dumped his aging wife for an 18-year-old and didn't give a shit who knew it. Yeah, it's one thing to end a marriage; it's quite another to make your hatred of your spouse as public as humanly possible, which is exactly what Dickens did.
Back in 1836, a then-unknown Dickens married Catherine Hogarth. By all accounts, it was a pleasant enough marriage (hell, it resulted in ten goddamned children). Then Catherine got fat. This was apparently an unforgivable sin in the Dickens household, where the ability to push out ten kids must surely mean you can at least do a couple of push-ups right after. So he went and got himself a mistress, actress Ellen Ternan. Now, cheating on your wife because she got old and overweight is bad, but what happened next truly exposed Dickens as a douche on the level of any evil orphanage destroyer in his books.