“‘Bear but a touch of my hand there,’ said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart, ‘and you shall be upheld in more than this!’
As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground.
‘Good Heaven!’ said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. ‘I was bred in this place. I was a boy here!’
The Spirit gazed upon him mildly. Its gentle touch, though it had been light and instantaneous, appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long, forgotten!’”
A Christmas Carol.
These words come from one of my all time favorite books, penned by one of the great master novelists of England. As a kid I loved so much about the story, from Scrooge’s journey to redemption, to its Yuletide setting, to the time travel aspects. However, I recently had my own visit with the Ghost of Christmas Past.
No, I’m not actually saying that an ethereal spirit who is the embodiment of the abstract concept of “Christmas Past” appeared by my bed and took me on a trip back to the past. It all began with an e-mail from the music department at my alma mater, Bethel University. Every year they put on a huge music event know as the Festival of Christmas. I got to be a part of their 50th Festival, which was televised and is still shown on PBS stations throughout the Upper Midwest (check your local listings for time and channel). With this year being the milestone 60th Annual Festival of Christmas, they were inviting the alumni to be a part of the performance.
I jumped at the chance. Continue reading