It’s that time of the year to spread a little Christmas Cheer! Don’t you just love Christmas time? Everyone is in the spirit of giving and sharing, while embarking on a realistic and sometimes achievable New Year’s Resolutions. For many, it’s the end of an era and the beginning of something new, symbolic in the way of the year turning over. I absolutely love getting together with family and friends during this time, celebrating a season which brings so many people from afar, together around the tree or fireplace; which is where they share memories of Christmas tradition’s past.
I thought of a cool game to play with the students in my writer’s workshop class, and one that I will be doing over the Holidays with my family. It made for a great bonding experience as well as an outlet for everyone to be transparent about their life, their goals and how they will implement a change in their life, if any at all. I would like to pass it along and share with everyone else. It may create a blog idea for you to share with your readers as well as create a wave of participants. It’s called Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This could ultimately end up being a 3 to 9-part blog post. If you had this experience, as scrooge did, who would be your ghost? Share the story.
There’s a couple of ways that you can present this game during Christmas. In matters of time and depending on how large/small your group is, you can ask of each participant to share:
- If 1 ghost were to visit you, which one would it be and why… what’s the story and lesson
- If all the ghost came to visit you, what would be the story of each
- You may also divide into 3 teams of participants, (if there’s a larger group) having the group leader to pull straws for a ghost, where each member of that team will share a story about that ghost visiting.
- Pick a theme of which your ghost will take you: Relationships, Employment/Business, etc.
But first, acquaint yourself with the story of each Ghost’s purpose if you are familiar with it, so that you can remain as close to topic as possible.
Ghost of Christmas Past: This angelic spirit shows Scrooge scenes from his past that occurred on or around Christmas, to demonstrate to him the necessity of changing his ways, as well as to show the reader how Scrooge came to be a bitter, cold-hearted. (Your story does not have to be surrounded around Christmas) Although in the movie, it was to show why scrooge came to be who he is around the holiday. You can share about experiences as it relates to how you are or who you were and who you became period.
My Ghost of Christmas Past’s employment/business scenes would include:
2001- I worked for a Real Estate and Property Management Company. It was my first position as a Corporate Receptionist…. and an opportunity to finally dress up for work instead of wearing tennis shoes, as I did in previous managerial positions in the retail management sneaker industry. I performed well in my position, but was asked to resign shortly after one of the big wig clients in our building complained that I didn’t deliver his mail, which had been mismarked and delivered to our office by accident. Turns out, he was a head honcho at Mercedes Benz Corporation. We had an exchange of words, which entailed me advising him that I delivered his mismarked mail as a courtesy, and him stating that I delivered it too late. This spat resulted in the CEO of the company I worked for, in so many words, reminding me that I was to submit to a man of power and not to talk back. I learned that the world can be cold, and even colder in the Heart of Dixie. I began to develop a hard shell absent of compassion when it came to business.
2007, My Ghost of Christmas Past is showing me a call center that I worked at, in which I was recruited from another company and invited to go work for. I was ecstatic about my job, and the evidence was in that it was the longest time I had remained with a company, until I was terminated after 18 months of employment. It happened 2 weeks before Christmas. I was always on-time for work, stayed late when necessary, met company goals and for a lengthy period, I was leading in the number of intake calls. I was fired because a customer complained that I was cold-hearted about not being able to do something for her. I believe my hardened exterior which developed years earlier was the catalyst for me not having compassion for the customer’s request.
2010 is the last place that my ghost of Christmas past would take me. I was working for a Real Estate Company. I was successful at what I did but had a lot of people, upper management included, who did not appreciate my challenging work. I stayed at work late, went in early, went in on my off days, filled in where necessary, and I also maintained one of the highest closing ratios for leasing. Having the success that I had, brought along my share of envious co-workers. I stumbled upon an email one day that was from the District Manager, which was written to the Manager (her BFF) of the property of which I worked. In the email, it stated that she was to “Find ways to write Niedria up” Basically, create a paper trail so they could solidify reasons for terminating me. It became a hostile work environment, having to work with a manager who was deliberately looking for a reason to fire me. And it happened. I was asked by a male resident to follow him to his apartment, carrying a box for him that he could not carry because his arm was in a sling. First thing came to my mind was, Ted Bundy. I told the resident that I would have a male member of the maintenance staff help him. The manager overheard me. She then fired me for refusing to assist the resident with his package.
My Ghost will reveal to me that these were just a few things that happened to me in the business world, where I demonstrated hard-work and loyalty to companies, where I was discarded in a heartbeat. Furthermore, why I then burned bridges which I never knew would need to be crossed again. And lastly, why I need to rebuild where necessary.
Ghost of Christmas Present: The second of the three spirits that haunt the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, in order to prompt him to repent.
My Ghost of Christmas Present will transport me around several cities, showing me the thriving of professionals in my line of business, along with those of which are not so successful who may have been terminated under my management or employment with companies of the past. My ghost will transport me to the living rooms of Customers and Clients who were wounded by some of the cold-hearted things I have said, as well as the foul language I used with some of them. My ghost reveals to me how vicious nature of words have scorned people and in some cases, damaged them for a lifetime. I will ask, “Are they going to be ok” to which my Ghost would respond, “If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, they will not” – adding a heartless comment that I have made in the past… (I won’t say) … and he leaves me with this: “Most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom unless the writing be erased.” I still hold tightly to my reasonable explanations as to why some were so deserving of the comments I delivered.
Ghost of Christmas Future: The Third and Final Ghost and the most fearsome of the Spirits. It represents what the future holds for Scrooge if he does not change his ways.
My Ghost of Christmas Future will show a funeral as well… one in which only people would come just to see and have something to talk about. “Oh, she kicked the bucket… that’s what she gets, for the way she talked to so many people” …they would whisper. How about that?!
Upon request, my ghost would show me ‘tenderness connected to death’, in the form of another funeral. One of which resulted from a suicide committed under the spell of words that I spoke which haunted the life and days of a woman/man where I told them that they should slit their wrist.
Once it’s established that the funeral is my very own, I discover that I must repent and correct the language that I use, being more tactful and compassionate, even when I feel that they are less deserving. In doing the right thing, I open my heart to seeing the human in everyone that I will meet; knowing that a kind word can make someone’s day, giving them the motivation, hope and inspiration they need to be successful. And all these things, to be reminded of and to be remembered, are what is supposed to help us transform into better people. I plead with the ghost to, “sponge away the writing on this stone”
I think in this story, as well as the Grinch that stole Christmas, we can see how both characters came to be who they are. We understand a fraction of their existence through their eyes. However, we understand that it is still also necessary for us to be the change we want to see in the world and that goodness prevails, whereas the momentum of evil can penetrate our futures, wreaking havoc on our quality of life while damaging a sum of others in the process. Change is necessary. This exercise may inspire your New Year’s Resolution.