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Man passing gift to his girlfriend

A Christmas To Remember

Copyright Kevin Thomas via Dreamstime.com

But That I’d Like To Forget!

There must be a reason why Halloween comes right before Christmas. On the eve of the 31st, I awoke to see a ghost floating above my bed. I shrieked, wondering if a bit of uncooked roast beef induced some sort of nightmare. After I calmed down, the spook introduced himself as the Ghost of Christmas Past. 

I asked what this was all about because I wasn’t a miser in a brokerage firm or anything like that. He didn’t answer, the ghost just grabbed me and WHOOSH we were at my girlfriend’s house, the time being last Christmas. 

Her name was Karen. I watched in horror as I recounted what happened last year. Karen reached under the tree, pulled out a present and dropped it into my hands as she exclaimed “Merry Christmas!” 

It was a complete surprise because we agreed not to exchange gifts.

Previously we would set an amount to spend and get each other presents. It was like exchanging the same amount of money so there was no point to it. We had known each other long enough to know we loved each other. 

But even though we agreed not to give each other presents, Karen had given me one anyway. It was a modest gift, a new wallet but I had no gift for her. That’s when the fight started. Logic did no good, how could I know we were going to exchange presents even though we agreed not to? She argued back I was supposed to know and now it was proof I didn’t love her. 

It was three months before she would even let me kiss her again.

Copyright Kevin Thomas via Dreamstime.com

On my way to work that morning, I kept wondering about that strange dream – the Ghost of Christmas Past and all, because it had seemed so real. Either way, I decided I had better get Karen a present this year or my name was going to be mud. This was in spite of the fact we had already agreed not to exchange presents this year.

On the morning after Thanksgiving, I was literally kicked out of bed. I could see the little red digits on the alarm clock, it was 2:30 in the morning. Then I saw another ghost and I screamed, while trying to crawl under the bed. However, it turned out to be the Ghost of Christmas Present. Had the ghost been wailing an ungodly moan, that would have been fine, but it turned out to be worse than I could ever imagine. 

Instead, the ghost cheerily started singing, “Rise and shine, sleepyhead! We’re going shopping!” 

I protested it was too early in the morning but no, we were going to hit the Black Friday sales. And with a WHOOSH we were standing in line outside a big box store. I noticed people were staring at me and when I looked down, I saw I was still in my pajamas. I looked at Christmas Present and said “Really?” He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. 

Finally, after standing for hours, the store opened its doors and the mob rushed in. People were pushing and shoving and grabbing and yelling and jostling and screaming and I just moved with the crowd because there was no way I could try swimming upstream in this mass of bargain hunting humanity. 

I looked at Christmas Present and asked him what gift we were we here to buy and a look of shock came over his face. He then shrugged his shoulders and smiled. Then I asked if he had any money because I was wearing my pajamas. I put my face into the palm of my hand when he shrugged and smiled again. 

The next thing I knew, I was awake in my bed. The alarm clock said it was now 10:30 am. I sat for a long time wondering if it had all been a dream because it seemed so real. Way too real. Plus my feet hurt from standing in line for so long. 

Sometime during the night of December 23rd, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shook me awake. I asked him when are you guys going to let me sleep but with a WHOOSH we were in my girlfriend’s living room, two days from now. The house was a wreck and Karen was throwing her pots and pans at me. Most of the time she would miss and they would hit the wall or hit something, breaking things in the process. She was yelling and shouting at me, telling me how much I didn’t love her and and what a rotten boyfriend I was. 

So on the 24th, I went shopping to get a gift for Karen. The dreams were too real and why not? I truly did love Karen. 

The problem with shopping on the 24th is the stores are virtually cleaned out. I spent the whole day going from mall to mall and store to store, trying to find the perfect gift. I had been out all day and it was getting late and I was still striking out. Some of the stores had already begun closing. 

But then I found it. A small jewelry store was just closing up when I walked in and I found a small heart-shaped pendant for a reasonable price. Even better, they had nice gift boxes so I didn’t have to wrap it. 

At Karen’s house we snuggled, watched movies and just enjoyed being together on Christmas day. Earlier we had visited our respective families but now it was our time to be together, just the two of us. 

At the right moment, I stealthily slipped the pendant into her hands. “You got me a Christmas present?” she asked. I nodded but the look on her face had the expression as if I had given her a bag of live, squirming worms. 

“WE AGREED NOT TO EXCHANGE PRESENTS THIS YEAR!” she shouted. “NOW I LOOK BAD BECAUSE I DIDN’T GET YOU ANYTHING! YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME LOOK BAD BECAUSE YOU DON’T LOVE ME!”

Every time I tried to explain everything, it just made her more mad. Then she started throwing things at me. First, it was pillows on the couch because they were within reach. When she realized they didn’t hurt she started throwing the knick knacks on the shelves. It then progressed to the pots and pans from the kitchen. 

The vision from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was true to form.

Copyright Kevin Thomas via Dreamstime.com

Later that night, I was awaken by all three ghosts. They had come to apologize. I looked at them and gave them a cynical thanks. Karen had broken up with me and it was the worst Christmas ever because of them. 

The Ghost of Christmas Present smiled and shrugged. 

I punched him in the nose.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

All images copyright Kevin Thomas

About The Author

Kevin Thomas is a Wisconsin based freelance writer and photographer with over 30 years of creative experience. He enjoys fine art and landscape photography. He also makes some of his photography available for use as stock photos. You can learn more about Kevin and check out his stock photography portfolio by visiting Dreamstime.com.

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