I know, Halloween is over ( sad sigh ) and you would think that means that someone who writes the kinds of stories I do would be cooling their creative jets – but I don’t cool my jets at this time of the year.
I fire them up.
My family came from opposite sides of the world- according to my DNA results 50% of my DNA originates comes from the Philippines and the remaining 50 is split between Scotland and England.
Borders and Oceans aside, my diverse family actually had more in common then not when it came to a lot of things, which is probably why we ‘blended’ as well as we did because when my parents were married mixed marriages were not exactly celebrated in the 1960’s.
But here is the one tradition above a few that they shared that I found to be absolutely fascinating.
During the winter at our family gatherings, usually after dinner we would start to tell Ghost stories.
If you are from a big family you might know how hard it is to get noticed- in my family if you could tell stories, no matter how old you were the stage was all yours. So I’m sure that played a big part in me wanting to become a writer and it’s probably why when I write my stories now they lack that tight structure writers striver for and it reads more like someone just sitting next to you and talking.
Bad grammar and all.
So I worked at landing that coveted storyteller role and in the end I got tell stories along with my Grandfathers or my Uncles or my Grandmothers. It was so awesome. I felt like SUCH a big deal. Nothing I’ve done after that compares to that feeling of accomplishment I had when I got to tell a story with the adults and everyone listened.
As a sidenote, when I started to tell my one stories or I recited a spooky poem or a ghost story I learned I had to do it all from memory. I guess I never made that leap to becoming A WRITER. I write the way I talk. Still. After all these years.
I don’t mind.
Over the years people have sent me links to articles that addressed this once ( and I guess in some cases ) and lost tradition of telling ghost stories during Christmas or the winter season.
It’s a great tradition to be part of.
My family is smaller now, but we still tell ghost stories at Christmas gatherings, or when we get together for the evening and if it’s snowing or the power goes out we are in heaven.
Christmas ghost stories are a tradition going back much farther than “A Christmas Carol”
Though the practice is now more associated with Halloween, spooking out your family is well within the Christmas spirit
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY THE POPULAR CHRISTMAS SONG “IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR” HAS A LINE ABOUT TELLING “SCARY GHOST STORIES?”