Perhaps the most iconic and recognizable ghosts of Christmas are those involved in Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption “A Christmas Carol.” But much like these, the real stories of Christmas ghosts go back just as far and even further. While the telling of ghost stories seems like an activity that would be more at home on Halloween than at Yule time, there are certainly more than a few ghosts from Christmas Past that give us plenty of opportunity to explore the unexplained on this joyous holiday.
First, let’s take a look at the ghosts of Christmas past. I remember a tragic urban legend that tells tale of a family that went out one Christmas looking to finally get to see their distant grandfather. That morning, their phone rang and picking it up the youngest daughter asked who it was. It was their grandfather, and he asked to speak with her mother. The mother, picking up the phone said hello and asked if he would be needing a ride out to their place in the cold snow. The grandfather said he would be missing out on the holiday festivities that evening, but loved them all very much. When she asked why, he said he had to go. Later they would learn that their grandfather had died the night before. But then who placed the phone call? Hundreds of other legends like this one are told often with anonymous characters or distant friends of friends.
As for ghosts of Christmas present, in the news the legends are a bit less anonymous but just as strange. In Lake Lure, North Carolina, My Fox Dallas Fort Worth reports that a couple celebrating the holidays with a wedding noticed a strange apparition in the background of one of their photographs. Looking closer, the figure didn’t appear to be anyone present in the crowd and appears to be quite a bit smaller than any of those assembled, and even more transparent. In addition, the standard slew of paranormal reports from around the world are sharing with them a festive holiday theme.
But perhaps most intriguing is the possibility that the ghosts of Christmas future have in store for us. What will we see as 2010 becomes 2011? And what will 2020 bring for us in the way of paranormal presences? A few have speculated that 2012 will be the end of all life on our planet, but as these ghost stories tell us year after year even in death there is some ability to celebrate the holidays if these ghost stories are to be believed, even if we cannot always see those celebrating alongside us.
And so as we look at these ghosts from the past, present, and future, we can come to the same conclusion as Ebaneezer Scrooge in his final moments in the acclaimed tale. Christmas is a time for life, to be with those whom you care about. It is a time for celebration and happiness. And so our place in the universe provides us opportunity to bridge into that world of the unknown or be dragged into its mysteries, but we can always take care to use every opportunity to partake in this wonderful life.