The Ghost of Christmas Present is jovial, a manifestation of everyone’s Christmas celebrations, and his power grows with the festivities. He’s also youthful, personifying the here and now, and appears to Scrooge as a majestic giant clad in green robes, with a booming voice. Scrooge doesn’t recognize him at first—the ghost says, “You have never seen the like of me before!”—because he scorns the holiday and is unfamiliar with the very concept. However, he does regard the spirit with reverence, suggesting his heart is changing.

The spirit only lives as long as the Christmas season, and is reborn again each year. Towards the end of their time together, Scrooge notes that the Ghost of Christmas Present has become much older in appearance. That it is the Ghost of Christmas Present and not either of the other two spirits who introduces Scrooge to the symbolic children known as Ignorance and Want suggests poverty—which is the consequence of society’s Ignorance and Want—is not a problem relegated to the future or the past. The poor require relief now, and this underscores their plight with urgency. Scrooge is moved by what he has seen and asks whether there are any resources with which the starving children might get help, but the ghost mocks him with the very words Scrooge once spoke (“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”) and disappears.