He wrote the book in just six weeks, struggling to get it done in time for Christmas. He no longer had a publisher so he published the book himself, ordering illustrations, gilt-edged pages and a lavish red bound cover. He priced the book at just 5 shillings, in hopes of making it affordable to everyone. It was released within a week of Christmas and was a huge success. In the first few days it sold 6,000 copies, and it went into a second and then a third printing.
Some people credit the book with revitalizing Christmas. It was in the middle of the Industrial Revoluion, and most people had to work as many as 16 hours a day. Most people couldn't afford to celebrate Christmas, and Puritans believed it was a sin to do so. But A Christmas Carol helped return some of the old traditions of feasting, family, and spreading cheer.
Charles Dickens wrote, "I have always thought of Christmas time, as ... 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."