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Monday, December 26, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Annabel Aidan

Yuletide Ghosts
By Annabel Aidan

We always think of ghosts around Halloween, but the holiday season around the Winter Solstice is another time when spirits walk the earth. Remember Jacob Marley’s ghost in Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL? He showed up during the time of year with the longest nights and the shortest days.

We bring in live greens, use candles, lights, fruits, berries, and things that sparkle to remind us of the abundance and light that will come again. We give each other gifts not just to show appreciation, but to share during cold, dark nights of the year. We send cards to let those far away know they’re still in our thoughts. We donate to food banks and toy drives, and answer Letters to Santa, following a long tradition of community sharing through the season where little grows and little will grow until the sun returns to full strength.

By sitting around the fire and sharing well-loved memories of departed loved ones, we keep their spirits close to us. Have you ever spent an evening in joyful reminiscence, and it feels like your loved one is back in the room with you? So often “ghost” has a negative connotation, but it doesn’t have to mean something sticky and ectoplasmic that frightens you. It can be the light kiss of a pleasant memory, that instant of connection, although the person (or beloved pet) is long gone.

This year, when you decorate for the holidays, why not add photographs of friends, family members, and pets who are no longer with you to the mix? Use festive frames, or those lovely small frames that turn photos into ornaments. You could even create a small “Memory Tree” with only photos and mementoes from loved ones. Set aside a special candle that you light each night, from the Winter Solstice through Twelfth Night (January 6), in memory of the departed. Remember the joy of the individual’s presence, and use that to enhance the joy of the season.

Sit around together and read a Christmas story -- whether it’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL or THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS or a holiday story by a modern author whose tale warms your heart.

Loss of loved ones is always difficult, and leaves a hole that can’t be filled. Yet, by using this season to focus on the positive memories, you craft new family traditions that link the past to the present to the future. It will feel like generations share the room together, in joy and love.

About the Author:
Annabel Aidan writes romantic suspense with a hint of magic. She publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and nonfiction. She spent over twenty years working behind the scenes on Broadway, in film and television, mostly working wardrobe. Her plays are produced in New York, London, Edinburgh, and Australia. If you run towards her undoing buttons, she will tear off your clothes and flip you into something else — and then read your tarot cards. Her latest release, ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is available digitally and in print from Champagne Books and on Amazon Kindle.

Champagne Books:
Blog (as Devon Ellington): Ink in My Coffee
Twitter (as Devon Ellington): @DevonEllington

Leave a comment to win a PDF copy of the romantic comedy “Just Jump in and Fly” (under the Ava Dunne name). When a handsome Kris Teague and his Uncle Nick crash a sleigh and eight reindeer into Susanna Wright’s driveway, it takes a bit of convincing that they’ve got to turn back the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in order to save not just Christmas, but the world.

This was a limited edition story written and published for family and friends, which will be published and released in time for Yule 2012. Today’s copy is a copy of this special first edition, before wide release.


Dawn said...

Every yesr we put up a stocking for everyone (even our pets) that are still with us and the ones who have passed away. That is our way of remembering everyone at Christmas!

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

forgot my email address

Jean P said...

Thats what we do in our house, put up the ornaments with past pets names on them. Have a tree dedicated to past and current pets. Ornaments for people who are no longer with us go on the big tree.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Annabel, that's an excellent idea to create a memory tree using photographs placed in picture framed ornaments and hung on the tree. I've seen candles and rows of popcorn, but a string of picture framed ornaments would really be pretty. Nice tradition to start!!

Debby said...

Every holiday, we reminisce about those who are not there. IT does seem as if they are there.
debby236 at gmail dot com

shadow_kohler said...

thats an awesome tradition. thats a way to keep them in your heart and let them still be 'there'. so sweet! thanks for sharing! happy holidays!

Mountain Laurel said...

This year we have lost loved ones that still leave a huge hole in your heart during the holidays...I love your ideas...thank you sharing them!

Frank said...

What a lovely way to honor those who aren't still physically with us, Annabel--thanks for the suggestion!

Hope your celebrating has been merry and memorable this season!

--flchen1, using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Patti P said...

That is an awesome idea. Thank you.
musicalfrog at comcast.ent

VampedChik said...

That is a very great idea. Thanks so much for sharing!