My Three Iconic Spirits & Aunty Doris

This was not the blog I had planned for today, but  I was rummaging around for something to read – looking for some inspiration and I found it. A couple of pages in and  I had an idea.

dickens christmas carolv2

Imagine being visited by your own 3 spirits? What would that be like?  If you could go back in time what lessons will be waiting for you?

I’m excited about this.  What if I were to have 3 such visitors, just like Scrooge?  I wonder what they would show me of my Christmas past, present and future?

I think it might go something like this.

Firstly, I will not be wearing a nightcap.

Whilst I can’t quite see myself as a Scrooge, I can certainly be a grumpy mare when I put my mind to it.  My ‘Marley’ will be my late Aunty Doris, who I adored. I imagine all my ghosts will be famous ladies of comedy because they are my heroes and well, why not?

I think my Aunty Doris would be as much of a disaster in the ghost world as she was when she was with us.  I see her falling from her world to ours and landing in a heap at my feet whilst I’m watching Netflix. I won’t be frightened, quite the opposite. “Lou, what have you been up to?” she will ask while she pats her thick wavy hair.  “Look, you are going to be visited by 3 spirits.  I tried to talk them out of it, but, well, no one really listens to me over there either,” she fiddles with the collar of her turtle neck jumper, just like she always did. “The first one will be here within the hour. Can you please, just for once, do what you are told? Its important, Lou.” And, just like that, she’s gone.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, there’s a whoosh and I see Joan Rivers standing before me.  Her jewel encrusted gown is floating around her. She looks flawless.   She holds out her perfectly manicured hand and we travel to my Christmas past.

I am inside our first home, it seems smaller than I remember.  Piles of presents cover the floor. Its 5 o’clock in the morning. There’s noise coming from upstairs and seconds later, amongst screaming and shouting, there I am, 20 years earlier, wearing a very bad perm.  Three little children are jumping up and down with excitement.  I had forgotten how incredibly cute they all were.  I want to touch them, but Joan shakes her head.  I want to talk to them and tell them what life holds in store for them. I see the curls on the back of Michaela’s neck, Callum’s dummy hanging out of his mouth and Christopher’s bright blonde hair (what he’d give to have that now!)  I am absolutely enthralled as I watch my younger self make cups of tea in our tiny kitchen.  Michael comes downstairs.  I’ve forgotten just how young we were.  He looks tired. Time for presents. Wrapping paper, squeals of delight, chaos, laughter. Michael is already knee-deep in toy parts trying to build a train set.  Michaela is pushing her Tilly doll around in her new buggy and Christopher is trying to organise the day’s activities. The morning plays out in front of me in mere seconds.

As lunchtime approaches, when most families are getting ready to sit down to their meal, everyone is settled down in front of the TV. We are watching Snow White. Before the dwarves have made an appearance, we are all asleep.  Joan takes my hand –  I want to stay and watch them, remember them, talk to them but of course, that’s not allowed.

I am back at home and cannot wait for my next visitor.

Figuring this would be a fool-proof way to get my ghost to come, I go to bed, (yep, I’m arrogant enough to think I can control a ghost). The hours tick by. Nothing.  As I begin to curse, I hear the faint sound of the piano and there, in the corner of the bedroom, I see Victoria Wood.  She beckons to me.

I am in the kitchen.  My kitchen. We are all around the table. Michael is wearing his Granddad Elf pyjamas.  This is our Christmas last year.  Michaela is pregnant.  We are all together. Christopher cooked dinner. We played games. We took photos, videos, selfies.  We laughed – a lot.  Michaela slept – a lot. We talked about what our Christmas will be like when the baby comes. We walked on the beach.  We went to church and sung carols. It was a wonderful day. I have thought it about it many times since.

A split-second and Liz Smith  waving at me from the street outside. She was the next spirit? It seems awfully cruel that I can’t speak to any of them.

With a snap of her fingers, I am in a room that I don’t recognise. Its blurred and I am struggling to make out the people in front of me.  I see my daughter holding hands with a strawberry-blonde haired toddler.  I can’t see her face.  She is looking up at her Mum and laughing. I also see a curly-haired toddler running around, shouting at the top of her voice. My son is chasing her. There is a large tree in the corner.  Michael and I are there, I’m wearing a pashmina (only joking).  There are presents, chatter, laughter.  Christopher is in the kitchen cooking.   Michael is trying to build a doll’s house. My daughter and Granddaughters are dancing and singing.  I want to join in. I want to scoop them up and twirl them round and round.

Liz shakes her head.  Its time to go.

Once again I am home. Did that just happen?

Let us be clear – I’m not going to run out in the street and buy a goose. I’m not going to throw open the windows and shout ‘Merry Christmas’ (for a start, I live in a bungalow so that would be weird).

I’m not sure If I had any lessons to learn? I just know that I am going to treasure every single moment of Christmas this year.  But more than that, I will treasure the conversations, the photos and every opportunity we have to be together as a family. I am very lucky.  Maybe I just needed to be reminded.

Time travelling was nothing short of magical. I thoroughly recommend it.

christmas day

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