Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

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.

Vilhelm Hammershoi

 

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #17 – Least favourite part of Christmas

The Loss Of Christmas Ghost Stories.

 

Thank You Hamish Macbeth

Photo A..M. Moscoso

This is Hamish Macbeth- I was lucky enough to become his Mommy  just before Halloween in 2014.

I almost named him Boris Karloff in honor of the season and one of my favorite actors but he actually responded to the name Hamish Macbeth- so Hamish he is.

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

2014 was not a good year for me for a variety of reasons- one being I suffer from depression and even though I had begun counseling and medication that stuff doesn’t kick in right away so I was struggling.

And why not throw the Holidays into that mess just to make things a little bit harder?

I was lucky. I had help swoop in just before the first fake trees hit the Mall.

The thing that saved me from really having a hard situation become an intolerable one was my  dog.

He was a  12 week old Chocolate Lab Puppy with ( then ) yellow cat’s eyes.

Hamish was this very serious little puppy when I first brought him home. But within a month his personality exploded and he became outgoing, friendly, engaging goofy and scary smart.

He just couldn’t get enough of the world and the people and things in it.

So I got to watch this little bundle of joy take to the world around him with unbridled enthusiasm and energy and curiosity- and I was lucky enough to be there when it happened.

So I went along for the ride an it was just before Christmas.

Here are some of Hamish’s first Christmas pictures- it just seems right to put this post and these pictures up now because I think Hamish is what the holidays SHOULD be about.

Puppies make Christmases perfect!

Hamish wanted in on the Christmas Wrapping fun, so my nieces wrapped him up- which he proudly wore until the tape got warm and the paper fell off.

My niece, my Mom and ” Baby Hamish”

Luis and Hamish- quite the handsome pair!

 

amm

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #14 – Best Christmas present

 

Who Put THAT In The Punch Bowl?

I have never got a bad Christmas Present in my LIFE which is a shame because I have given some crap gifts over the years.

The sad thing is- I didn’t KNOW they were lousy presents when I wrapped them and stuck them under the tree.

I have tried shopping from a list, giving something I made, paying attention to what was popular. I even paid to have someone wrap them and I STILL managed to screw it up.

Most of the time I  think it’s funny when  people give me  that ” Really Anita Marie? WHY?” look- but that’s when I write something strange or say something weird on purpose.

It’s not a lot of fun when it comes to the Christmas Gift part of the  holiday festivities.

This is the one time of the year where I wish I could, for once get on the same page with the people around me.

So now I give out gift cards- of course I got creative and would include some candy or something. But in the end it was a plastic gift card with Christmas Candy and it ended up being safe and not very festive.

I really do wish that presents wasn’t a part of this holiday- but it is and like every other year I guess I’ll try and maybe one Christmas I’ll get it right.

amm

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #13 – Worst Christmas present