The ghosts of Christmas past are haunting me. But that's OK - because I love them.
The American Holiday Season - Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December - is the season when the ghosts come back to check in. They come in memories of decorating trees as a kid, opening presents Christmas morning, those dinners at the kids' table while 20 adults laughed and talked at the big table. The taste of your mom's Thumbprint Cookies. The taste of your daughter's Ribbon Cookies. It's the ghosts of Christmas past that haunt us most at Christmas as adults. This year I'm thinking of grandparents and aunts and uncles now passed over to wherever we go after we die. But they make me smile. Christmas nostalgia is one of my happy places. It's because my ghosts are loving and supportive when they haunt my memories.
I know other people who spend their Decembers running from holidays past. Scrooge is one of the best examples. Even though technically Scrooge is a book character, there are still plenty of actual people walking around just like him.
British novelist Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. I read a story recently explaining that Dickens wrote the short novel to expose the horrors of poverty in Victorian England, particularly London. The original title was "A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas." It came out December 19 and was sold out by Christmas. It's been a bestseller and Christmas standard ever since. There are some wonderful film versions out there ("Scrooged" and "The Muppet Christmas Carol" are my two favorites.)
But unfortunately, the world is still full of ignorance and want (see the book or the movie). And the message of "A Christmas Carol" (use your wealth to take care of your employees and the sick and the poor) is still harshly relevant today.
If you haven't read it yet, pick up a copy of "A Christmas Carol" and read it next week -- the week before Christmas. Then watch one of my favorite film versions -- or pick your own. The movies have become one of my holiday traditions.
Oh, and someone give a copy to #elonmusk before it's too late. (I'm betting his chains are getting long.)