Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Young Scrooge

A Very Scary Christmas Story

R. L. Stine

Feiwel & Friends




My name is Rick Scroogeman. I’m twelve, and you might say I mainly like to have fun. I like to tease kids and goof with them and give them a hard time and mess with them a little. You know. Just to be funny.

Some kids at my school, Oliver Twist Middle School, call me Sick Rick. Behind my back, of course.

I don’t get that.

I think maybe they’re jealous because they don’t have as good a time in school as I do. Or maybe because I’m bigger than them and more grown-up. I had a growth spurt last summer, and now I’m the tallest one in my grade.

Pauly Stimp, who plays forward on the Twisters basketball team, only comes up to my chin. Seriously. I call him Stimp the Shrimp.

I’m tall and I’m big. Yeah, I know it looks like I have a big belly hanging over my cargo jeans. But it’s all muscle. Go ahead and punch me in the gut. Punch me as hard as you can. You’ll see. But be careful—because I punch back. Ha!

Before I go any further, I want to warn you about something. I want to warn you that this is a ghost story.

Maybe you don’t believe in ghosts. Or maybe you think ghosts can be friendly and nice, or maybe sad, or maybe they need love, or something icky like that.

That’s not what I learned. I learned that ghosts can be terrifying. And cold. And cruel. And vicious. And did I mention terrifying?

So, that’s my warning.

Maybe you thought you were going to get a sweet story about Christmas joy and sparkling snow and good cheer. If that’s what you want, go read Frosty the Snowman.

Seriously. No one stands around singing Christmas carols all day in the Rick Scroogeman story.

I guess I should also say that I’m afraid of ghosts. But that’s the only thing I’m afraid of. Don’t believe me? Test me. You’ll see.

I’ve been afraid of ghosts since I was a little kid. I saw a dark shadow moving on the kitchen wall. And there was no one in the kitchen who could have made that shadow.

Whoa. Creepy, right?

But enough about scary stuff. Being scared is not how I roll.

Here’s a good way to get to know me. You can read an essay I wrote for Miss Dorrit’s class. She made us all write essays on “What Christmas Means to Me.”

Gag me, please.

Yes, it’s almost that sick time of year, time for my least favorite holiday. Why do I hate Christmas so much? Well … don’t just sit there asking questions. Read my essay …


By Rick Scroogeman

I hate hate hate Christmas for two reasons.

One: They make us watch this terrible old movie in school every Christmas. It’s called A Christmas Carol, and it seriously sucks.

It’s about a really old guy who is stingy and grouchy and mean to everybody. And three ghosts come to take him away and show him how mean and rotten he is, and they tell him why he should change and be nice. And why he should like Christmas.

The movie is bad because it’s in black and white. Also, the ghosts aren’t scary at all. The special effects totally suck. But there’s something even worse than that.

The mean old guy is named Ebenezer Scrooge.

Like … why?

As everyone knows, my family name is Scroogeman. So every year after we watch this dumb film, the kids in my class think it’s a riot to start calling me Scrooge.

Ha-ha. Do I look like I’m laughing? I don’t think so.

But that’s not the main reason I hate Christmas. I hate it because I was born on December 25. That’s right. Christmas Day is also my birthday.

And does anyone ever remember to celebrate my birthday? No way.

They’re all too busy putting up lights and decorating the tree and singing carols and getting ready for the Big Day.

Do you know the dumbest thing about Christmas? Decorating a tree. Because you spend hours hanging stuff on the tree. Hours. And then you just have to take it all off. Talk about a waste of time.

Besides, Christmas trees make me sneeze. I’m allergic to them, and I can’t breathe when we have a tree in the living room. But does anyone care if I breathe or not? Of course not. It’s Christmas.

Because of Christmas, I’ve never had a birthday party like every other kid I know. I’ve never been taken to Disney World or someplace cool. I never get to choose what’s for dinner on my birthday. We always have to have a Christmas goose. Yuck all. Who eats goose?

And do I get birthday presents like every other kid?

Of course not. I only get Christmas presents. And no one even talks about how old I’m getting and what an awesome guy I am.

See? I get cheated. Cheated out of my birthday every year.

And that’s why I say, Bah, Humbug, like the old guy in that movie. And that’s why I HATE HATE HATE Christmas.

Can you blame me?


Copyright © 2016 by R. L. Stine