Ghost of Christmas Past

9 Dec

I must have been about five or six years old the first time I saw the film version of “A Christmas Carol.” It was in black and white and I remember being just as frightened by Ebenezer Scrooge’s countenance as I was by the creepy ghosts that visited him in rattling chains. I didn’t fully understand the depth of the story but on some level, I knew Scrooge was deeply haunted.

For many of us, by the time we reach adulthood, we too experience visitations from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future even if our souls aren’t as far gone as Scrooge’s. I know that as much as I enjoy aspects of Christmas, memories of my mother’s alcoholism will always break into the present, as well as her incarcerations for DUI’s and her first suicide attempt that took place on December 27th. But the Ghost of Christmas Past reveals a pastiche of memories many of which remind me of happier times. He shows me my mother when she was vibrant and healthy, lovingly creating a happy holiday for me to enjoy. He also shows me my father taking us to dinner on Christmas Eve, driving through Balboa Park to look at the decorations and then heading to midnight service. I see the plate of cookies left out for Santa and a little girl so mesmerized by the Nutcracker she eventually had to dance in it herself.

As the Ghost of Christmas Past steps aside leaving me to watch the montage of my life, I feel the angels draw near one of whom is my mother.

So, it came upon a midnight clear, that I heard that glorious song of old…

And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

And herein lies the present and future.

One Response to “Ghost of Christmas Past”

  1. StephanieStephanie Roede December 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    So beautiful, bringing back memories. I love that we can feel the angels draw near… Gifts from the past are always a part of us. Thank you, Lise, for another wonderful post.

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