A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories
Though the practice is now more associated with Halloween, spooking out your family is well within the Christmas spirit…more HERE
My family used to tell a ghost story or two or three at Christmas- there was something about being full of warm food and good drink that brought out the devil of a story tell in our midst and then would say just above a whisper-
” Remember that time we thought we heard that knock at the door, and then we heard it at the window and then we heard the basement door open-”
And of course one of us would say, ” I wasn’t there. What happened? ”
It wasn’t until I got married and hung out with my in-laws for the first time that I realized not all families sat around a tree and told stories about angry spirits and lost spirits and dogs and cats that followed you home in the snow and the dark and when you turned around there wasn’t a dog or a cat but a man in fancy clothes and a top hat standing there in the snow with no tracks- human or otherwise in the snow except for your own.
He would ask if he could come in and warm himself by your fire- and some of us would invite him in and other’s would not.
Some families, I learned, turned on every single light in the house on and drowned out the glow from the lights on the tree and in the window. They played board games where you learned about geography or card games you collected over the year because it was ” Magic ” .
Then you could talk about Nature and Cows and what it was like to grow up on a farm.
I was lost from that point on-I really did not know what to do with myself over the holidays anymore.
I gave up on Christmas for awhile- the suburbs had eaten Christmas and spit out it’s bones and not in a fun or amusing way.
The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future were not invited to these energetic Shopping Mall inspired gatherings. Not unless they were wearing Old Navy Clothes or your favorite College Football team’s logo somewhere on your person.
Mysterious Men in top hats with dark orange eyes were left on the curb to wait in the darkness alone- their stories falling like snow on an empty streets and dead ears.
But I played along because it was the polite thing to do and for as much as I missed hearing a few good ghost stories I wasn’t looking to scuttle the evening for everyone else.
Still, I’d look into dark corners or try to look through an overly bright window and I’d think about a friend or two- and wonder if I would ever get to spend Christmas Night with them again.
I hope so.
I really do hope so.
Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #17 – Least favourite part of Christmas
The Loss Of Christmas Ghost Stories.