Christmas doesn’t always go according to plan and unexpected developments can certainly ruin the day and make for an unpleasant experience. The Ghost of Christmas Past has a way of bringing back these memories this time of year. I had a girlfriend once who woke up in a bad mood Christmas day. She sat at the computer playing Tetris half the day and reading me the riot act about everything wrong I ever did in her view. She was very thorough in her scolding. Merry Christmas to you too! There is only one thing more boring than Tetris and that’s watching someone play Tetris. I never knew a person who could complain so much about so many things. Ultimately she was way too difficult to please for me and the relationship did not last. I was only ever as good as my last best act. The saying, “There’s no pleasing some people” is so very true. No matter what you do, it’s never enough. I had another girlfriend who was on some vegetarian kick for Thanksgiving. I expressed the notion that I really didn’t care what we ate and spending time together was more important. This was not the correct answer apparently and she said that we had different ideas on the holidays. Later she sent back all the Christmas gifts I got her. Merry Christmas to you too! There’s no pleasing some people. When I was much younger I spent a Christmas with my father. We were having a nice Dad/Son chat in front of the wood burning stove. He went to make some coffee, but his water pipes were frozen. He decided to thaw them out with a blowtorch and set his house on fire. He started yelling at his wife and she started yelling back. Merry Christmas to you too! I am not entirely sure what gets into people around the holidays. It’s supposed to be a time of joy and merriment, but sometimes it gets ugly. Why some people get in a bad mood during holidays might have something to do with expectations. Sometimes the reality doesn’t live up to the vision. The best Christmas times for me will always be those from my childhood when the only expectation was ripping into presents on Christmas morning that Santa had left the night before. The Ghost of Christmas Past is not all about bad memories, but is the harbinger of the good ones too. On balance there have been more good than bad Christmases, still the bad ones can invoke a deep sadness, just as the good ones can invoke great happiness. If I had a Christmas wish it might be to forget the bad ones and remember only the good. But the Ghost of Christmas Past doesn’t work that way. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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