I guess you could say I used to be somewhat of an Ebenezer Scrooge type. I hated Christmas music, I despised holiday shopping, and I dreaded family get-togethers That is, until I discovered the reason for the season. What caused this change of heart, you ask. Well, I have one person to thank, and that person, as crazy as it may sound, is a spirit that visited me one cold, December night.
I’ll never forget, I was asleep in my bed when I was awoken by the sound of my bedroom door creaking open. I heard the floorboards groan under the weight of someone entering my bedroom, and I quickly rolled over and turned on my bedside lamp. That’s when I saw him. The Ghost of Christmas Past. Or maybe it was The Ghost of Christmas Present. Either way, he was dressed in a big black coat, and he was holding a bag full of my stuff from downstairs.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, but before he had time to answer, I knew. He was here to show me the true meaning of Christmas. He didn’t need to say anything, and even when he did it, it was in broken English and very difficult to decipher. Apparently The Ghost of Christmas Past is of Hispanic descent. I hopped out of bed, threw on my robe, and we were off.
I asked him where he was taking me, and he said something about leaving my cell phone. Look, who am I to question how the spirits work? So I left my cell phone (a new iPhone 4) on the table, which he then picked up and threw in his sack.
The Ghost of Christmas Past drove a green Honda Civic that smelled like sloppy joes, and he made me sit in the back seat. Our first stop was at another house down the block from me. The Ghost of Christmas Past told me to wait in the car. I guess I was supposed to use this time to reflect on Christmas. He came back about fifteen minutes later with a bag full of my neighbor’s stuff.
Our next stop was Arby’s. Apparently The Ghost of Christmas Past knows the manager of Arby’s, who hangs out after hours and smokes marijuana in the back room. I guess The Ghost of Christmas Past liked to do this too, because he did it for about forty five minutes while I sat in the lobby eating some old curly fries. That’s right. Free curly fries. I learned something important at that Arby’s about the spirit of giving.
Our next stop was at the public library, where The Ghost of Christmas Past threw a big rock through the front window. I’m going to be honest, I don’t fully understand the significance behind this part of the night, but spirits work in mysterious ways.
The night concluded with The Ghost of Christmas Past leaving me at a rest stop about forty minutes from my home. I had to call my brother-in-law to come and pick me up, and when he did, I made sure to give him a big hug, and tell him how much I appreciated him.
I learned a lot that night. For example, I shouldn’t place so much importance on material possessions. The Ghost of Christmas Past took most of mine. I also learned the importance of believing. When the police asked me questions about the physical appearance of The Ghost of Christmas Past, I could see they didn’t have that twinkle in their eye. They just didn’t believe.
The most important thing I learned that night was the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about shopping, or decorations, or TV specials. It’s about doing something special for the ones you love.
I also learned that it is very easy to cancel your credit card, and if you do suspect someone may have stolen it, you should do that right away, because the charges add up quickly.