I have several Christmas books in my library, but there are many I don’t possess. When browsing through the bookstores, I think I have the best of the lot. Rather than buying new ones, I reread many of the classics I own.
One of my favorite Christmas stories is A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. It was made into a short movie a few years ago and stars Geraldine Page. I have read and watched that story many times and recently read it to some of my grandkids.
Interestingly enough, Christmas is the time for scary ghost stories, even more than Halloween. I have a great book of Christmas ghost stories. One of the stories is about a couple spending Christmas night in a very old spooky country inn off a remote road in England. There is a very creepy innkeeper who gives them some mulled wine. They are the only guests until about two in the morning when a car pulls up and they look through their window to see the new guest. It was a very unsettling and sleepless night with the door to their room mysteriously opening and strange noises occurring throughout the night. They departed early and caught a ride into London. Later that day, they read in the paper about the murder of a man fitting the description of the other guest they had seen. His body was discovered in a field, near his car, at the location of the Inn. The problem is that, on investigation, there was no inn to be found. No building existed at the site where they stayed or where the body was discovered. An inn had been at this site over a hundred years before, but had been torn down long ago. All I can say is, I sure don’t want to stay at a country inn off a remote country road in England. I’m also going to lay off mulled wine.
The Christmas ghost story of all stories, of course, is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I have read and reread that one multiple times and seen many movies versions. Last night we saw the old black and white version with Reginald Owen. It’s a classic. There have been many fancier productions and even musicals, but I like the old black and white version because it has a great Marley’s ghost. Marley is my favorite character in the story. Marley’s ghost needs to visit a lot of folks. It would be great if everyone could be enlightened about the meaning of Christmas like Scrooge was. Unfortunately, the world seems to have a lot more Scrooges than Bob Cratchits, so, the ghost would be rather busy with his visitations.
The Christmas ghost stories are especially good on cold, foggy nights like we have had this week. I have a few more to read before Christmas. That’s the reason you might see the porch light on very late in the evenings. These stories, of course, are best read at night.