2018 Writers Holiday Contest Grand Prize 3rd place: Becoming a Ghost of Christmas Past by dollmommy

Jan 16, 2019 at 09:30 am by Submitted

As the flames in the fireplace flicker on this Christmas  Eve, Maggie sits in her rocking chair gazing at the beautiful Christmas tree and its colorful lights. Sitting there, time seems to recede and soon Maggie views herself as a young girl again.

Maggie is sitting in the home of her youth, poking at the packages under the tree and trying to guess what wonders are inside them. Tears form in Maggie’s eyes as she sees her parents, now gone for years, young and so happy with their lives. Her vision begins to blur and she is once more transported to another special Christmas in her life.

Sitting at a cafe in Paris, marveling at the beauty of the Christmas season, yet feeling the tug of homesickness that the holidays inevitably bring. Since coming to Paris on an art scholarship she had not seen her family in over a year. All of a sudden, her chair is jostled and hot liquid spills on the floor next to her splattering her legs. As she looked up to see who was uttering a litany of profanities and then profuse apologies, there stood a flustered young man grabbing napkins by the handful in preparation to help wipe up the mess. Tears stung her eyes and as she looked with longing on the man that she would soon call her husband, the vision was replaced with yet another scene.

What was this?? Daddy is holding a baby in front of the simple yet lovely Christmas tree in preparation of Heath’s first Christmas photo. Maggie is setting the timer on the camera then runs to join her husband, Thomas and their son Heath in time for her to be in the photo. The flash on the camera goes off just in time to catch the image of Maggie getting tangled in a string of lights and falling into the tree while Thomas helplessly looks on. Tears of laughter now are the trigger that moves her on with her trip to the past just in time to see…

Heath and her two other children Thomas junior and little Alex at a frozen pond, ice skating or at least trying. Little Alex has spent 3/4 of the time on his little butt, he just couldn’t keep his feet under him. Maggie, warmed in the arms of her husband, thinks that this has to be one of the happiest Christmases ever. She felt so lucky. She watched as the pond and it’s occupants faded from view only to be replaced by….

She continued to view her life as if she was the star in a grand movie. Her sons graduating, going to war, getting married, the grandchildren and great grandchildren.…….all mingling with the sadder times when her mother died in a car crash and her father followed her less than a week later (people said that her mother was his heart, and he couldn’t survive without her) Losing Alex to cancer and finally her husband Thomas was taken from her by a heart attack just the week before.

The room reappears, and she smiles, such a nice visit to the ghosts of her Christmases past, her life has been so full and rewarding. Her family will be here today, to help her through one of the hardest Christmases ever. They were so good to her, she was so proud of them.

Sensing a presence in the room Maggie looked around and was amazed to see Thomas, just as he looked the day she married him, with his arms reaching out to her. As her eyes close for the final time she knew that her heart had come back to take her home with him.

We all have Ghosts of Christmases Past and that is what inspired this story.

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