Winter Ghost Stories

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On a long car ride, I had the radio blaring Christmas songs. It’s the one time of year where you can really justify listening to Christmas music and not get funny looks. (Though, I admittedly enjoy Christmas songs in July and August when it’s over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit outside because it makes me think cool thoughts.) As the radio blared, I sang loudly. My cheeks were rosy with the effort of singing, and I was having a jolly old time even if I may have been off-key at times because I knew– despite the rare glimpse of other drivers– they couldn’t hear me, and therefore could not hear me make up words to songs I didn’t know!

On the radio came “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, a 1963 song celebrating Christmas which was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was performed by pop singer Andy Williams that same year. As I stopped singing to listen to the song’s lyrics, one of the lines from the song really struck me:

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.

The line made me stop and think about why we might not carry out this tradition– sung about a mere half-century ago. What caused it to fall out of favor?
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Spirits of the Solstice

One of my favorite Christmas stories has always been Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. The haunting backdrop of silence as Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened from his sleep by the sounds of chains and the ghostly voice of his former business partner always sends a chill up my spine. It was even more thrilling with the ghost warning him of three spirits who would visit for the purpose of showing Scrooge the error of his ways.
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