This may seem like an unusual request. I’m not Ebenezer Scrooge and I’m not a penny-pinching miser who’s doomed unless he changes his cold-hearted ways.
But I’d like one Ghost of Christmas Past, please. Not the very distant past, but my past.
I’ve been thinking about loved ones who won’t be here this Christmas and missing them very much. I’ve been thinking about others who are getting older and realizing they aren’t as immortal as I used to think they were when I was little.
I’d like to go back to Christmases past, not to change anything or even to talk to anyone, but to sit back and listen. To hear the voices long since silenced and see the faces that are harder and harder to remember.
I’d love to see both my grandfathers again and see them both healthy and happy and enjoying the holiday season. I’d love to see my uncles at peace with the world and, more importantly, at peace with themselves.
I’d love to see all my family together under one roof and everybody at their best selves, when they were happiest and most content and knew who they were and who everybody else was.
Maybe this isn’t possible. Maybe some I won’t ever see again, save for heaven someday or in my dreams.
Maybe my lesson for this Christmas is to treasure those who are in my life right now and not to take anyone for granted, whether they be family or friends.
Maybe it’s to learn the lesson that Scrooge learned all those Christmases ago: “And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”
Yeah, that sounds good. I honor the memory of those who’ve gone on before me by honoring the living and most of all, by honoring the true spirit of Christmas and the infant found in the manger who grew up to be Savior of the world.
So maybe I’ll skip that ghost. But I’d still like a good cup of wassail.