Much like Bob Cratchit, Fred embodies the Christmas spirit with his generosity and kindness, both of which he expresses without expectation of receiving any such feelings in return, particularly from Scrooge. Fred serves as a foil to his greedy, disagreeable, and hateful uncle, offering best wishes and kind words despite the fact that Scrooge sneers at them and refuses Fred’s yearly invitation to celebrate the festivities.
As Scrooge’s nephew, Fred provides Scrooge with a connection to family; the Ghost of Christmas Past reminds him that he loved his sister Fan, Fred’s mother, and it’s possible part of the reason Scrooge scorns Fred is because his presence reminds him of the long-dead Fan, and the pain he associates with her passing. That Fred invites Scrooge along every year, and that Scrooge refuses, reinforces the idea that Scrooge’s isolation is largely self-inflicted; he prefers being alone and makes decisions that push him further into seclusion. However, in the end, this connection he previously rebuffed now offers Scrooge a means of redemption, a chance to rejoin the world and embrace a community.