Ghosts of Christmas Eves Past

B. Morey Stockwell, PhD
4 min readDec 24, 2023

Great expectations and inevitable disappointments.

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

The year- 1965.

My sister and I wedged our little bodies into the overstuffed chair. Daddy sat between us. He held a book in his hand.

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house.”

Daddy read the words. Mona and I eagerly listened, anticipating the next phrase.

We gazed at the pictures. We read the words. We heard Daddy’s voice.

The tradition of reading Clement C. Moore’s tale of Santa’s visit repeated year after year. Indeed, my husband and I continued this tradition when our son Aaron was born in 1986.

That was the first year we recorded the annual tradition on VHS tape- our state-of-the-art video camera and its clunky cassette tape captured the sound and the movement with all the precision that early generation of magnetic tape could muster.

In 1988, another little human added herself to the scene when Shannon, our daughter, was born.

Year after year, the scenes changed, but the story remained the same.

We prompted the kids to introduce themselves. “How old are you? What grade are you in? What’s your favorite subject?”



B. Morey Stockwell, PhD

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