Welcome the Ghost of Christmas Past

Christmas is often a time of sorrow for families of those with any of the many forms of dementia. Often family and friends have stopped calling or visiting. Family relationships break down as one person provides daily care.

You may decide it’s just not worth it and spend the day trying to block out memories of happier times. I get it. But consider what may happen if you embrace the past for a few moments. You may be surprised by what your loved one remembers.

Welcome the Ghost of Christmas Past. Forget about putting up a tree if you don’t feel up to it. Don’t bother with a special meal unless someone delivers it to your door hot and ready to serve. Instead open the old albums and put out the oldest, most treasured ornaments. Play all the old Christmas carols. Cry for what is lost. Cry until the tears no longer come. Then, if you can, welcome the ghost of Christmas Past. Allow him to illuminate the memories you most treasure and share them with those in your care.

The image below is from Disney’s, A Christmas Carol, where the Ghost of Christmas Past appears as a candle illuminating events that formed the person Scrooge became.

ghost_of_christmas_past

Push aside the present and feel the love you shared on all the happy times you shared if not for the entire day, at least for a moment. The love and laughter you shared may be the most precious gift you receive this season.

One of my favorite treasured Christmas decorations from childhood is also a candle.

single-choir-boy-candle

This little guy, once part of a set of five, appeared in our home a few days before Christmas when I was eight years old. Upon our mothers passing in 2002 my sister, three brothers, and I each took one. Mine is now lopsided. His face is grimy from years of being packed away in newspaper, and his robe has a chip in it from being dropped a time or two. Despite the abuse he has endured over the years, he is far more precious than the thirty-five cents stamped on the sticker that still clings precariously to his underside tells us Mother paid for him.

If you have a favorite memory of Christmas past shared with the one in your care, feel free to post it in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 20eagle16
    Dec 30, 2016 @ 11:41:29

    Hi Bobbi…

    I saved your email, as I wanted to get back to it after the Christmas rush. Your little candle guy reminded me of years gone by as well. But, within the past five years, my sister, Sandra, found some little candle figures and gifted them to me. They ARE kinda nice to have around, aren’t they. It is interesting how something so small and inexpensive can bring back fond memories of our childhood. I have attached a picture of what Sandra gave me. I set them out each year without fail.

    May your new year bring you much peace and happiness,

    Craig

    ________________________________

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    Reply

    • Bobbi Carducci
      Jan 01, 2017 @ 14:09:11

      Craig,
      Thank you for your comment and letting me know that the choir boy candle reminded you of the past in a positive way. I love your figurines. I hope to hear from you again when a post speaks to you.

      Like

      Reply

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