Written in 1843 in order for Charles Dickens to help pay the bills, A Christmas Carol quickly became a holiday favorite. From wikipedia:
The tale has been viewed as an indictment of nineteenth century industrial capitalism and has been credited with returning the holiday to one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety and sombreness. A Christmas Carol remains popular, has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.
Here are some illustrations that have been included with various versions over the years, including those done by John Leech for the 1st edition .