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the ghost of christmas past is silent

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The Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come, ranked by freakiness

From Mickey Mouse to Muppets to Scrooged, Spirited, and the great classics

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You probably all know the story of Charles Dickens’ endlessly adapted 1843 holiday story A Christmas Carol , even if you’ve never read it. Tight-fisted, mean old miser Ebenezer Scrooge falls asleep on Christmas Eve and is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, a man in a sleeping cap; the Ghost of Christmas Present, a rotund, jolly fellow; and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a harrowing, silent specter of death. These three ghosts convince our miserly man to change his ways, but the third one does the heavy lifting, showing Scrooge how soon he’ll be dead and buried, while nobody mourns his passing.

In the text, Dickens describes the ghost as “shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.” This leaves a lot of leeway for adaptations to interpret, and A Christmas Carol is one of the most-adapted works of fiction of all time.

So in the holiday spirit, I decided to watch every film version and evaluate them on one single criteria: How scary do they make the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come? Don your sleeping cap and come with us on a journey into holiday horror.

60. A Sesame Street Christmas Carol (2006)

A robot “ghost” that looks like an egg with a christmas wreath on it floats over grouch in Sesame Street Christmas Carol

If you were going into this one expecting to be spooked, I don’t know what to tell you. Oscar the Grouch as Scrooge contends with a CGI floating robot with googly eyes as the Ghost of Christmas Future. We get it, you don’t want to terrify the preschoolers, but there’s a reason it’s lowest on the list.

59. A Christmas Carol (1954)

A rave in a black and white image from A Christmas Carol (1954)

Fredric March stars as Scrooge in this, the first color televised version of the tale. Unfortunately, the only surviving version is a black and white kinescope. In a strange choice, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come doesn’t appear in human form at all. Instead, a myna bird caws Scrooge to the graveyard, where he finds not only his grave, but also Tiny Tim’s.

58. Christmas Cupid (2010)

Typical smug bastard dressed as santa in Christmas Cupid (2010)

Christina Milian is the Scrooge figure in this ABC Family holiday comedy, and the three ghosts are her ex-boyfriends. Depending on your relationship history, this might seem scarier than it is. The third ghost is her boss, who she is also dating, dressed up like Santa Claus. He tells her that in the terrible future to come, they get married, then divorced. Bummer. Fortunately, as part of amending her wicked ways after the ghostly visitation, she dumps him.

57. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

A woman in a sparkly dress floats over the snowcovered woods in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

It’s a stretch, but this Matthew McConaughey rom-com is based on the Dickens story, so it counts. The “Ghost of Girlfriends Future” that shows McConaughey’s womanizer protagonist Connor Mead the error of his ways is played by stunning Russian model Olga Maliouk, dressed in white rather than the traditional black cloak.

56. Rich Little’s Christmas Carol (1978)

scrooge in his old timely nightgown sitting on a desk next to Christmas Future, a man in a trenchcoat

It’s almost impossible to explain how popular comedic impersonator Rich Little was in the 1970s, but “HBO gave him a Christmas special in which he played every single role of A Christmas Carol as a different celebrity character” might do it. Scrooge is Rich Little as W.C. Fields, and the Ghost of Christmas Future is Little playing Peter Sellers as the Pink Panther movies’ Inspector Clouseau. So not scary, but extremely weird.

55. The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (2011)

A smurfy finger points out from a dark cloak at another smurf in The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (2011)

The real revelation here is that Grouchy Smurf (the Scrooge of the story) acts like a dick all the time because Papa Smurf gives him a hat every year for Christmas. The ghost is Hefty Smurf. Not scary unless you have a phobia of gym bros.

54. My Dad Is Scrooge (2014)

A dog stands on the carpet in My Dad Is Scrooge (2014)

This is probably the only Christmas Carol where Scrooge gets headbutted by a llama. Our miser here is a farmer named EB, who is taught the magic of the season by a trio of talking animals. The third one is a dog that hypnotizes EB . This thing is so cheap and weird that when the animals talk, it’s sometimes just their lips moving over a still photograph. The dog doesn’t even dress up!

53. A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004)

A woman in white shredded robes does a luring hand gesture in A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004)

This is a tough watch for numerous reasons, especially if you’re not a fan of Broadway musicals. Kelsey Grammer plays Scrooge, and he’s confronted by a white-clad Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come played by Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s daughter, most recently seen in Netflix’s The Crown ). The costuming is pretty dire — she looks like she’s covered in damp toilet paper.

52. Chasing Christmas (2005)

A dorky guy with wavy hair and a red ascot stands next to a lit christmas tree in Chasing Christmas (2005)

Tom Arnold has tremendous divorced energy as the Scrooge figure in this mediocre comedy, where the Ghost of Christmas Past goes AWOL and leads him and the Ghost of Christmas Present through a series of scenes. Scrooge and the second spirit eventually make out, and there are a lot of cartoon sound effects. Yet to Come only shows up at the movie’s climax, and is just a sleazy-looking Euro guy in an ascot.

51. Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Taz emerges from the Christmas Future robes to scare Daffy Duck while the two stand in the snowy forest in Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Here, the ghost is the Tasmanian Devil. He starts out the scene in the typical black shroud, but doffs it a minute or so later to engage in the usual Warner Bros. schtick.

50. Carry on Christmas (1969)

A stereotypical afro sunglasses hippie wears a necklace of flowers in a black void

The long-running British slapstick film series tackled Dickens for a Christmas special at the end of the swinging ’60s, but the Ghost of Christmas Future is just actor Bernard Bresslaw playing an incredibly broad hippie impersonation. Oh, and Frankenstein and Dracula are also in this, for unexplained reasons.

49. It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012)

Carrie Fisher in black holds a black umbrella to cover a brunette woman from the rain in  It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012)

Carrie Fisher plays all three ghosts (and the Marley role to boot) in this Hallmark Channel take on A Christmas Carol set in the modern age. Emmanuelle Vaugier is the Scrooge figure, transformed into a hard-charging CEO with no time for Christmas. Not scary.

48. A Christmas Carol (2015)

A woman in a black veil stands behind a tree in A Christmas Carol (2015)

This extremely cheap-looking Canadian musical production of the story was a labor of love (director Anthony D.P. Mann also plays Scrooge), for what that’s worth. The Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come talks and sings in this rendition. She’s just a lady with a white face in a big black hat. The whole thing has a community theater vibe.

47. Brer Rabbit’s Christmas Carol (1992)

A jack o lantern head hides under a white blanket in Brer Rabbit’s Christmas Carol (1992)

The early ’90s were such a dire time for animation. This made-for-TV special — not produced by Disney, and with no connection to Disney’s Song of the South — is an ordeal to watch, and all the ghosts are just Brer Rabbit messing with Brer Fox through the use of household props and woodland actors. So the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come here is just a sheet on a mop with a jack-o’-lantern on top.

46. An American Christmas Carol (1979)

Henry Winkler in old age makeup playing Scrooge next to Dorian Harewood as Christmas Future

Henry Winkler — the Fonz himself — dons old-age makeup to portray Benedict Slade in this adaptation moved to Depression-era New England. The spirit who shows him the misery that awaits him after death is played with soulfulness by Dorian Harewood — the fill-in voice of Shredder from the Ninja Turtles cartoons!

45. A Christmas Carol (1969)

A 2D animated Ghost of Christmas Future points his bony finger in a graveyard in A Christmas Carol (1969)

From a series of Australian animated adaptations called Famous Classic Tales , this is a pretty standard take on the story, complete with a third ghost that could pass for an unimaginative Scooby-Doo villain.

44. A Christmas Carol (2000)

A bald man guides a red headed kid through a cemetery in A Christmas Carol (2000)

This odd British TV adaptation moves the action to the present day, with Ross Kemp playing Scrooge as a council-estate loan shark despised by his clients and community. The third spirit that visits him on Christmas Eve is an eerily silent young boy who shows him the bad end that awaits, and in the film’s coda, we learn that the kid was his yet-to-be-born child. In theory this could be scary, but it’s executed so clumsily that it’s more laughable than chilling.

43. Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol (1979)

A cloaked man wearing a skeleton mask meets scrooge in Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol (1979)

David Bond plays the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in this honky-tonk musical adaptation of the Dickens story, with Gremlins ’ Hoyt Axton in the Scrooge role. This was only aired once, during the late-’70s peak of Grand Ole Opry country music. Bond eschews the hood in favor of what looks like dollar-store Dracula makeup and some deeply weird hand gestures.

42. A Christmas Carol (1910)

A whispy ghost shows scrooge his gravestone

The oldest surviving film version of Dickens’ tale (except for the 1906 one, which didn’t have the three ghosts) is a 13-minute silent speedrun of the whole tale. The ghosts aren’t terribly scary, and as far as I can tell, the gimmick for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is “big lady.”

41. A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A hooded ghost shows Fred Flinstone Scrooge his deathbed

This 70-minute animated take, featuring the usual Flintstones characters, depicts the ghost as a pretty generic hooded featureless figure. The one notable thing about this movie is that it actually shows Fred Flintstone’s corpse — or at least his massive, pale-white big toe sticking out from under a sheet.

40. The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)

A dimly lit ghost

A low-effort Rankin-Bass animated musical version of the classic story, with a hooded figure pointing a bony white arm at Scrooge’s tombstone. Perfectly competent, but nothing to write home about.

39. A Carol Christmas (2003)

A prison guard stands behind Tori Spelling

This Hallmark movie had some serious stunt casting — Gary Coleman as the Ghost of Christmas Past! William Shatner as the Ghost of Christmas Present! Storied actor James Cromwell is the third and final ghost, and his expressive face does a lot to sell it, even though he’s just a mute limo driver. The bit where he closes Carol (Tori Spelling) into her coffin is a little freaky.

38. Old Scrooge (1913)

A transluscent ghost freaks out scrooge

Ghosts in these early silent adaptations were always very tall. In this silent version of the tale, our future ghost is just a lanky fellow wrapped in some bedsheets. Marley is actually significantly scarier.

37. A Christmas Carol (1982)

A creepy hooded guy in The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)

I think this animated Australian version of the story is the baseline “solid C” for scariness. It’s not imaginative at all — if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably guessed that the ghost here is a big figure in a black cloak — but the rendering is fine, and the music really sells the scene. Perfectly decent but nothing to renounce your miserly ways over.

36. Scrooge & Marley (2012)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

Chicago drag legend Jojo Baby plays the third ghost in this campy gay take on the tale, with Scrooge recast as a penny-pinching club owner visited by his deceased partner. Mr. Baby does a fine job, wrapped up in a mummy-like sheath of black fabric that casts a very glam silhouette.

35. Ebbie (1995)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

A Lifetime original movie starring Susan Lucci as the first female Scrooge? Look for scares somewhere else, pal. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is played by busy Bill Croft, most notable for playing prison guards or convicts in shows like Airwolf and Viper . He’s just a quiet but imposing guy in a hat and a black trenchcoat.

34. A Christmas Carol (1997)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

DIC was the go-to studio for affordable animation through much of the ’80s and ’90s, and this holiday special was as average as possible. Tim Curry plays Scrooge, and the adaptation gives him a bulldog named Debit because all cartoons must have a cute animal character. The ghost here is a glowing cloaked specter, nothing fancy or special, but it’s well designed.

33. A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

Vanessa Williams plays “Ebony Scrooge” in this perplexing made-for-VH1 holiday movie, which also stars Duran Duran’s John Taylor and Chilli from TLC. The stunt casting could have gone any number of ways for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, but for some reason, it’s a haunted television set showing an episode of Behind the Music where everybody talks about how much they hate Scrooge now that she’s dead. Then it sucks her in, Poltergeist -style. Extremely weird.

32. A Christmas Carol (1994)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

Cheaply made animated special with the artwork done in Japan in a vaguely anime style. Our final ghost is a hooded figure wearing a rope as a belt. The whole enterprise is pretty artless and uninspired.

31. 2nd Chance for Christmas (2019)

Vivica A Fox looks shocked at an offscreen blonde

Direct-to-DVD (and streaming) cornball starring Brittany Underwood as a spoiled pop star in the Scrooge role. Vivica A. Fox is mostly wasted as the third ghost, credited as “Death” — she enters the scene in cloak and bones, inspiring Underwood to ask whether she “died at Comic-Con.” But she plays through the flick just as her normal, fine self.

30. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

Disney animated projects are occasionally pretty scary — even the Mickey Mouse stories . But the Ghost here is just frequent Mickey nemesis Peg-Leg Pete, wearing a brown shroud and puffing a stogie. It’s a testament to how good the framing and animation is that he still feels threatening. The addition of a cigar does explain the billows of smoke around the spirit.

29. An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

The last film in the All Dogs Go to Heaven series has a convoluted plot about evil bulldog Carface scheming to hypnotize pets to steal Christmas presents. The good dogs dress up as the three spirits to change his ways, and the Ghost of Christmas Future starts off as an imposing hooded figure before whipping his cloak off to do a bizarre riff on Jim Carrey in The Mask . He does take Carface to literal hell, which is a little intense.

28. A Christmas Carol (1977)

A shadowy figure meets Scrooge in a graveyard covered in fog

Yet another BBC adaptation of the tale, with a perfectly acceptable shroud-clad spirit. He loses a few points because he doesn’t really seem to know what to do with his hands, leaving them hanging awkwardly while Scrooge monologues. But the massive hanging hood and creepy silence are both on point.

27. Una Meravigliosa Notte (1953)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

I don’t speak Italian, so it’s difficult to evaluate how well the ghost comes off in this adaptation, which stars Paolo Stoppa as greedy Antonio Trabbi, visited by a trio of spirits who show him the error of his ways. This is the second film on this list where the ghost has no physical form, instead manifesting as an echoing voice-over. The cinematography does a lot to sell it, as Stoppa seems genuinely deranged and unsettled by the all-knowing voice in his head.

26. Ms. Scrooge (1997)

the ghost of christmas past is silent

Cicely Tyson plays the Scrooge role in this gender-swapped version of the tale, in which the Ghost of Christmas Future warns her that the IRS will take all her money after she dies. He’s played by actor Julian Richings, who has a memorable face, but spends his whole part of the movie standing around expressionless in a suit. It’s just weird enough to be truly creepy.

25. A Christmas Carol (1938)

Scrooge barely sees the ghost of christmas yet to come hiding in a bush

One of the more famous adaptations, this one is solid, but the ghost is just a guy in a black cloak. When he walks, he sometimes sticks both of his arms out in front of him like Frankenstein’s monster. Every once in a while, you can see his weird skinny hand.

24. John Grin’s Christmas (1986)

A bald Black man lifts up his robe to reveal himself to Scrooge

This all-Black TV adaptation of the story has Robert Guillaume as the Scrooge figure John Grin, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is played by Trinidadian dancer/actor Geoffrey Holder, probably best known as Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die . The costuming isn’t anything to write home about, but Holder’s expressive face and wild mannerisms definitely deliver.

23. Tales From Dickens: A Christmas Carol (1959)

A robed ghost points offscreen in a cemetery to direct a scrooge with long white hair

Early television programming didn’t have much to offer in terms of special effects, so the Ghost in this Basil Rathbone-starring adaptation is a black cloak walking around in some studio fog. Some nice stiff-armed pointing and a commitment to stillness and silence makes it one of the better of its type.

22. Scrooge (1951)

A hand raises in front of Scrooge who kneels on the ground

Alastair Sim is one of cinema’s most famous Scrooges, and he puts his whole back into cowering in fear of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It’s another shrouded figure, but its introduction is pretty good — a pale white hand held in the foreground of a shot for more than a minute as Scrooge freaks out. The best thing about this one is his implacability: None of Scrooge’s pleas move him in the slightest.

21. A Christmas Carol (1914)

A ghost appears next to a stone wall as Scrooge looks down at his feet

Another silent flim, this one running a little over 20 minutes. The ghost is a big guy in a black hood and cloak, played by the awesomely named and completely stone-faced H. Ashton Tonge. Charles Rock is an overacting machine as Scrooge, chewing scenery like it was a Christmas goose.

20. A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Ghostly Tale (2006)

A walrus ghost

This direct-to-video CGI animated film casts anthropomorphic animals in the lead roles. You will never in a million years guess what kind of animal the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is, so I’ll just spoil it for you: It’s a walrus with one broken tusk, crackling with some sort of eldritch electricity. It’s so inexplicable that it wraps around to being scary.

19. Scrooge (1922)

A transparent ghosts freaks out Scrooge in the graveyard

This is, chronologically, the first film that depicts the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come with its face fully shrouded, and it’s effective, even though the ghost is barely on screen for a minute in this silent short.

18. Ebenezer (1998)

A cloaked figure with long white hair walks on an old timely western street

Jack Palance as Ebenezer Scrooge in a version of the tale set in the Old West? Incredible, and the legendary actor goes wild as a card-cheating swindler who hates Christmas. The ghost here is a shrouded figure with some wisps of gray hair coming out from the cloak, and at the end of his scene, he reveals his face as Scrooge’s dead partner, Jacob Marlowe.

17. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

The Ghost of CHristmas Future leads mr magoo blindly into the graveyard

The hapless blind codger has been cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in a theatrical adaptation of the Dickens story, possibly for insurance-fraud reasons. The third spirit is the stereotypical silent hooded shadowy figure, but animated in the classic UPA style, so it looks pretty cool and imposing. The original songs written for the movie and sung by Magoo kind of undercut the drama, though.

16. Scrooge (1935)

a shadowy hand points at something

The first feature-length Christmas Carol film with sound takes a pretty interesting approach with our third ghost, portraying him as an amorphous shadow that sometimes enfolds Scrooge, and at other times appears as a pointing finger cast on the snowy ground. Not super scary, but cool.

15. A Christmas Carol (1923)

A ghost appears in a burst of little lights in front of Scrooge

Another shadowy cloaked figure in this silent adaptation, but Russell Thorndike’s Scrooge sells the hell out of it well enough to bump it up a few spots.

14. A Christmas Carol (2012)

A bald bearded scrooge meets the ghost

This relatively obscure adaptation directed by Jason Figgis does some odd things with the source material, deliberately removing some scenes to make the narrative bleaker. It’s pretty low-budget and obviously shot on video with the actors in different rooms, overlaid with cheap digital effects, but it manages to work OK. The ghost has a red cloak and some gross zombie makeup on his outstretched hand, earning points for being different.

13. A Christmas Carol (2018)

A younger Scrooge looks up in the darkness of night

The introduction of the final spirit in this Scotland-set version is straight out of a horror movie, all ominous whooshing noises and creaking violins. But in a departure from the norm, we never actually see it. Instead, it speaks in one-word pronouncements in a gravelly voice as Scrooge reacts to it. Points for originality and solid sound design, but the actor playing Scrooge doesn’t sell it as well as he could.

12. Spirited (2022)

A cloaked ghost points his skeleton hand in a moonlit graveyeard

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds mug it up in this comedy holiday musical made for Apple TV. It’s got good production values, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, played by former Raptors power forward Loren Woods (but voiced by Tracy Morgan), makes the most of its few minutes on screen.

11. A Christmas Carol (1984)

A window illuminates the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

George C. Scott stars as Scrooge in one of the all-time best versions of the story, and the ghost is really solid — tattered, shadowy, silent, and imposing. Nothing particularly innovative about this rendition, but expertly executed.

10. Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001)

A skeleton’s visage melts into the Crachit family before a fully illuminated Scrooge

In general, this animated version of the story is pretty low-quality, even though the celebrity voice cast includes Kate Winslet and Nicolas Cage. But the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is handled pretty marvelously. Its depiction eschews realism: It’s drawn with sloppy brushstrokes outlining a cadaverous figure. It’s one of the few animated versions that really takes advantage of the medium, even if it’s just for a short time.

9. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A cloaked figure holds his hands at the graveyard gates as Scrooge approaches in The Muppet Christmas Carol

Michael Caine in a world full of Muppets is disconcerting enough, but this one takes a turn for the eerie when Scrooge runs into the third spirit — a huge figure clad in black robes, with an infinite, featureless void where its face should be. Not a lot of time on screen, but a really strong design.

8. Scrooge (1970)

A full-on skeleton Yet to Come ghost pokes Scrooge

For the first part of the ghost’s appearance in this musical (with Albert Finney as Scrooge), he’s the usual black-cloaked figure. But when Scrooge realizes he’s looking at his own grave, the Ghost reveals a skeletal face and hands that are simultaneously corny and disconcerting.

7. A Christmas Carol (2019)

Jason Flemyng playing a ghost of christmas yet to come with his mouth sewen shut and a top hat

Guy Pearce starred as Scrooge in this series, one of the darkest adaptations of Dickens ever. There’s even a sexual-abuse subplot to Scrooge’s childhood, along with several other adult themes. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is well played by British actor Jason Flemyng, who appears as a pallid man in a black suit and top hat with his mouth crudely sewn shut.

6. A Christmas Carol (2020)

A shadow monster grabs Scrooge

This ambitious dance film features celebrity voices and professional dancers. It’s one of the more visually compelling takes on the story, with some dynamic sets and beautiful motion. Both Bob Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come are played by dancer Brekke Fagerlund Karl, who is magnificently threatening with his spare movements.

5. A Christmas Carol (1971)

graves pop up all around scrooge

Legendary animator Richard Williams won an Oscar for this brilliant adaptation, which is just tremendous from start to finish. The ghost is a hooded figure, as per normal, but the incredible fluidity of the drawings here gives it an uncanny hyperrealism. Coupled with some unsettling camera movement, the design gives us a very high placer.

4. A Christmas Carol (1999)

A ghost of christmas yet to come with a brown robe and jawa eyes

The Patrick Stewart-led Christmas Carol was the first Scrooge story to use digital special effects. Our Ghost here is played by British actor Tim Potter, but we don’t really see him. Instead, it’s a baleful black shroud with two unsettling amber eyes buried within. Sometimes the primitive VFX of this period could be really effective, and this is a great example.

3. A Christmas Carol (2009)

a growing dark shadow ghost

I’m not the biggest fan of Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capture animated films, as they always veer a little too far into the uncanny valley for comfort. But you can’t deny that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in his holiday effort is effective. CGI lets the spirit be a creature of pure shadow, changing size at will for some truly impressive effects.

2. Scrooged (1988)

a bunch of dead melty face spirits trapped in the skeletal chest of the ghost in Scrooged

Bill Murray meeting the hulking Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the elevator is one of many great scenes in this classic ’80s dram-com. Then the ghost opens the front of his cloak to reveal tormented souls trapped in his ribcage, and forces Bill Murray to experience his own cremation. A great fusion of the traditional and the contemporary, and it’s definitely scary!

1. A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

Robert Shaw in a cloak in A Carol for Another Christmas

Leave it to Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling to max out the scare factor. This adaptation stars Sterling Hayden as industrialist Daniel Grudge, who is visited by three ghosts attempting to argue him out of his isolationist policies. The third ghost is played by Robert Shaw, who isn’t that scary on his own — until you realize that the “future” he’s showing Grudge is a world ravaged by nuclear armageddon and senseless, murderous violence. Shadowy figures and impending death are typically scary enough to turn a Scrooge around, but the threat of global thermonuclear war? That’s enough to save a whole lifetime of Christmases.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The front cover of a book with the title A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The image shows Scrooge wearing a black top hat and coat. He looks stern. Behind him is Marley's ghost, covered in chains.

On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge and his clerk, Bob Cratchit , are at work. Scrooge refuses an invite from his nephew, Fred, to have Christmas dinner with him. He also refuses to donate to charity. Scrooge doesn’t even want to let Bob have Christmas Day off.

That night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley . Marley died seven years earlier and explains that he is being punished because of how he lived his life. He warns Scrooge to change his ways to avoid the same fate and says that Scrooge will be visited by three more ghosts that night.

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears and shows Scrooge events from past Christmas Eves. These include a happy memory of when his first boss, Fezziwig, threw a big party, and a sad memory of when his fiancée, Belle, broke up with him because he had become obsessed with money. The visions make Scrooge upset and angry.

The Ghost of Christmas Present arrives. It explains that Christmas makes everyone happier and kinder. The ghost shows Scrooge the Cratchit family’s Christmas. They only have a small Christmas dinner, but they are happy to be together.

The Ghost of Christmas Present also shows Scrooge two neglected children, hidden under his robes. They are called Ignorance and Want . The ghost explains that the children belong to mankind. Scrooge is shocked by their appearance.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come arrives and shows Scrooge visions of the future. He shows him that Bob Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, will die. He also shows him a gravestone with Scrooge’s name on it.

Scrooge now understands that Christmas is about family and sharing. He promises that he will live differently to avoid the future that the ghost has shown him.

Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning and keeps his promise. He sends Christmas dinner to the Cratchits, donates a large amount of money to charity and spends the day with Fred and his family. The next day, he gives Bob Cratchit a raise in his salary and helps to look after his family, particularly Tiny Tim.

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The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

  • View history
  • 1.1 Physical appearance
  • 1.2 Personality
  • 2 Role in the film
  • 3.1 The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • 3.2 DuckTales (2017)
  • 4 Disney characters portraying Christmas Yet to Come
  • 7 External links

Background [ ]

Physical appearance [ ].

In the original Charles Dickens novel, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is described as thus:

Much like the Ghost of Christmas Present, every iteration of Yet to Come retains the basic appearance of a dark hooded figure with virtually little to no changes between the versions. The 2009 version keeps his typical appearance, but is sometimes portrayed as a shadow against the wall or ground, The Muppet version's hands are more deathly blue looking hands, while the DuckTales version has a noticeable beak carcass-like mouth sticking out from his hood and, to reaffirm him as the image of Death, carries a scythe with him.

Personality [ ]

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does not speak, resulting in his actions being interpreted by whoever is being confronted by him. He is the most direct of the spirits and does not waste time with showing Scrooge how his death will affect the people around him. It is possible that the spirit is sinister in his motives as he did threaten to take Scrooge away that very night if he did not mend his ways. The DuckTales version implies that his silence is due to the fact that he is shy, particularly around Bentina Beakley who clearly has a crush on him, which he reciprocates.

Role in the film [ ]

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is initially a dark shadow on a wall, but when he comes out of the walls, he looks like the Grim Reaper. Scrooge states to the ghost that he "fears him more than any specter he has seen". Unlike the other two ghosts, this one doesn't speak. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is also the most phantom-like of the ghosts.

Occasionally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come rides a Phantom Hearse and chases Scrooge throughout London on it. One chase sequence sees Scrooge shrunk to the size of a rat after the ghost cracks his whip, creating a shockwave in doing so.

Appearances in Disney media [ ]

The muppet christmas carol [ ].

The Ghost is the final spirit and shows Scrooge a vision of his unmourned death in the near future, as well as the death of Tiny Tim . In this movie, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a large, faceless wraith.

The specter scares Charles Dickens and Rizzo ; they exit the movie and don't appear again until Scrooge returns to the present.

DuckTales (2017) [ ]

A version of the Ghost of Christmas Future appears in the 2017 reboot of DuckTales in the episode " Last Christmas! ". He is mostly silent with just a few occasional grunts and resembles a carcass more than a skeleton.

He, along with the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future visit Scrooge McDuck every year just to hang out after accidentally visiting him instead of Ebenezer Scrooge. The group takes Scrooge to his first Christmas party held at McDuck Manor where Future ends up dancing with Bentina Beakley who seems to legitimately like him.

He later attends Scrooge McDuck's Christmas party back in the present where Beakley remembers her time dancing with him, causing him to blush.

Disney characters portraying Christmas Yet to Come [ ]

  • Pete - Portrayed the role in Mickey's Christmas Carol .
  • Spot Chicken - Portrayed the role in the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode " A Christmas Cruella ".
  • The Old Hag - Portrayed the role in An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players .
  • Narrator - Portrayed the role in Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo .

Gallery [ ]

Carol-disneyscreencaps com-7906

  • Rutger Hauer was to play the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in the Fox/Disney miniseries A Christmas Carol . But due to health reasons, Hauer was replaced by Jayson Flemyng, who played the role in 2019 .
  • The Ghost of Yet to Come in the movie of the novel in 2009 was far more dangerous making as it toyed with Scrooge before showing the future.

External links [ ]

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  • Language & Lit
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  • The Rewrite
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Jacob Marley

Ghost of christmas past, ghost of christmas present, ghost of christmas yet to come, a description of the ghosts in "a christmas carol".

Charles Dickens wrote the classic "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. The central character is a greedy businessman, Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, and three ghosts that represent different stages of Scrooge's life. All the apparitions warn Scrooge that he must change his greedy ways or suffer a horrible fate.

Here are the 4 ghosts that visit Scrooge:

Marley is the first ghost to confront Scrooge. He is transparent but has heavy, locked chains wrapped around his body. He informs Scrooge that ​ he cannot rest in peace. ​ He is cursed to roam the Earth in chains because he mistreated the poor and hoarded his money during his lifetime. Marley warns Scrooge that his fate could become like Marley's. He also notifies Scrooge that three more ghosts are scheduled to visit him.

Dickens does not use gender pronouns to describe the Ghost of Christmas Past. He refers to the ghost as “it.” Dickens describes the ghost as having long white hair and a face with no wrinkles. The ghost wears a white tunic and holds a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. On top of its head is a bright flame.

The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey to show him specific scenes from his past, including his lonely boarding school days during Christmas and the time when his fiance leaves him. The scenes show how Scrooge increasingly becomes obsessed with his fortunes and grows to despise Christmas.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is next. This ghost has long, dark brown curls and wears a green robe bordered with white fur. He is large in size and wears a wreath of holly with icicles.

The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge out on the city's streets to see the common people celebrating Christmas.

The ghost sees a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch in a fireplace corner. He tells Scrooge that if changes are not made in the present, the boy will die. ​ Tiny Tim is the son of Scrooge's employee, Bob Cratchit. ​ Since Scrooge does not pay Cratchit a sufficient income, Cratchit struggles to financially support his family and care for his ill child.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, or the Ghost of the Future, is the last ghost to visit Scrooge. Dickens describes this ghost as clad in a black garment that conceals its face and body. The only body part visible to Scrooge is an outstretched hand. Scrooge fears this ghost who does not talk.

The ghost points out different future scenes to Scrooge, including Bob Cratchit's family mourning the death of Tiny Tim.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come also ​ foreshadows Scrooge's death ​ by pointing out Scrooge's own grave.

  • A Christmas Carol; Charles Dickens; 1843

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More on A Christmas Carol

Introduction see all, summary see all, themes see all.

  • Compassion and Forgiveness
  • Transformation
  • Philosophical Viewpoints: Rationality
  • Memory and the Past
  • Guilt and Blame

Characters See All

  • Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Bob Cratchit
  • Tiny Tim Cratchit
  • Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Ghost of Christmas Present

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

  • Jacob Marley

Analysis See All

  • What's Up With the Title?
  • What's Up With the Ending?
  • Tough-o-Meter
  • Writing Style
  • Marley's Chains
  • Scrooge's Gravestone
  • Scrooge's Bed
  • Narrator Point of View
  • Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
  • Plot Analysis
  • Three-Act Plot Analysis

Quotes See All

  • For Teachers

The Phaaantom of Christmastime Is Here

However eerie and unpleasant Scrooge's midnight adventures have been, they are all fun and games until the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows up. This thing isn't even called a ghost any more—Dickens changes the terminology and starts referring to this super menacing cloaked figure as a "phantom."

The text doesn't really explain this word change, but we're guessing it has something to do with the fact that the other two Christmas ghosts were a lot more human in their behavior than this mutely pointing dude. (Also, Dickens might just have a thing about silent figures pointing fingers at the guilty. Check out the death of lawyer Tulkinghorn in Bleak House . It happens right under a painting of a guy pointing down at the corpse .)

The phantom's exit is a little more predictable than that of the other two ghosts. Sure, it's stressful when the thing disappears without telling Scrooge whether he'll get a do-over, but, hey, at least it's not birthing claw-footed babies in front him. It's the little things. Here is how the good-bye goes down:

"Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only? […] Why show me this, if I am past all hope! […] Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!" […]

In his agony, [Scrooge] caught the spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but he was strong in his entreaty, and detained it. The Spirit, stronger yet, repulsed him.

Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate reversed, he saw an alteration in the Phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost. (4.151-166)

Scrooge has gone from fighting the ghosts off to trying desperately to hold onto them and not go back to his own reality. That's a pretty startling change, no? Again, is this a sign that he really has undergone some fundamental shift in his ability to empathize with others?

It was a little more marked during his good-bye with the Ghost of Christmas Present, when instead of losing it at the sight of the ghost-babies, Scrooge is instead worried about whether the ghost is okay.

But here, there is a clear difference as well—Scrooge is making an appeal to the phantom's sense of mercy and asking it to just have some pity on him and tell him the deal. Rather than attacking it, like he did with the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge tries to find the emotional humanity in a startlingly inhuman figure.

This seems like a pretty big departure, and a mirror of what has happened to Scrooge himself. He has rediscovered his own humanity under all that cold.

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Christmas Past

Christmas Past

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The Movie Quiz: Who is the Ghost of Christmas Past to Scrooge McDuck’s Ebenezer?

Arnold schwarzenegger, george bailey, judy garland, the grinch, kevin mccallister...it must be donald clarke’s bumper holiday quiz.

the ghost of christmas past is silent

The greatest Scrooge of them all? Alistair Sim in Scrooge aka A Christmas Carol (1951)

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Ghosts of Christmas Past

Annie Clark and Dan Jeannotte in Ghosts of Christmas Past (2021)

Ellie is told by a fortune teller that she must resolve her past and make amends with all of those she ghosted before Christmas and discovers love in the process. Ellie is told by a fortune teller that she must resolve her past and make amends with all of those she ghosted before Christmas and discovers love in the process. Ellie is told by a fortune teller that she must resolve her past and make amends with all of those she ghosted before Christmas and discovers love in the process.

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Forget Halloween, Bring Ghost Stories Back to Christmas

If your idea of festive joy is being haunted by past memories or driven insane by mysterious specters, have we got the tradition for you.

An actor in costume as Jacob Marley emerges from the shadows, lit by a sharp, neon green light. He is in tattered Victorian-era clothing, and carries weights and chains. He has a white beard, and his hair is sticking straight up.

By Isabella Kwai

Reporting from London

At the most wonderful time of the year, there is one tradition that John Maguire remembers fondly: his Liverpudlian grandmother trying to scare the daylights out of him.

Without much money for Christmas celebrations, he and his family leaned instead on a centuries-old form of festive entertainment on the cold and dark evenings.

“We’d turn all the lights off, and put the candles on, and she’d tell us a story,” Mr. Maguire said. Not nice stories — ghost tales and other myths. “It used to keep me awake at night.”

Now a grown-up, 46-year-old creative director at Arts Groupie, a group that promotes theater and other arts, he wants more people to have that painful pleasure. This year he revived the tradition , popularized during Victorian times, of sharing ghost stories at Christmas. He and other authors read chilling Victorian tales aloud to a quiet, dim library, lit by (electronic) candles.

“Dickens didn’t have the luxury of television,” he said. He still holds a belief that, at a time when green screens can manifest every potential horror, “nothing is more chilling than your own imagination.”

Christmas can be a time of cheery joy, family fun and romantic high jinks, as many a Hallmark Christmas film suggests . But if that doesn’t do it for you — Bah! Humbug! — there is another way. Perhaps your idea of a getting into the holiday spirit is the haunting of past memories, a glimpse of a specter or being driven mad by former wrongdoings.

Families in Victorian England, where written ghost stories flourished in periodicals at Christmas, would have agreed. You know the most famous of them: the 1843 Dickens classic “ A Christmas Carol ,” in which ghosts help a miserly man change his ways. Its popularity is clear in the countless retellings onscreen and in theaters (including by The Muppets ).

But his other stories, many published specifically to be read at Christmas, may now feel more appropriate for Halloween. There is “The Signal-Man” (a railway worker is troubled by an apparition); “The Haunted House” (a group of friends renting a rundown manor realize they are not alone); and “The Trial for Murder” (the ghost of a man seeking justice haunts jurors at his own murder trial).

Plenty of others have contributed to the genre, including writers like Elizabeth Gaskell , Henry James and Montague Rhodes James. Editors populated their periodicals with stories of gothic horror, dreams and eerie events.

Though the origins are misty, experts say the tradition of telling ghost stories in the winter predates the Victorians. But mentions of the supernatural at Christmas became popular in the 19th century, as literacy rates improved and the traditions of the season as we know it were emerging — Christmas trees and cards were both introduced to Britain at the time. What else to do, on the long and dark nights as winter solstice closed in?

”The family would come together, they would play games, they would end the evening with a storytelling around the fire,” said Jen Cadwallader, a professor of English at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia.

The success of “A Christmas Carol” helped shift Yuletide ghost stories from the family parlor into the mainstream, and its publication prompted a flurry of Christmas novellas and short stories for a thirsty audience.

“It just reminded people that, hey, ghosts really sell at Christmas time,” said Tara Moore, a professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

(Though Americans share the fondness for “A Christmas Carol,” historians say Christmas ghost stories did not quite cross over with the same fervor, perhaps because such spookiness became more associated with Halloween there.)

Since 2005, the BBC has produced adaptations of ghost stories at Christmas; this year’s Christmas Eve entry stars Kit Harington of “Game of Thrones” in an adaptation of a tale by Arthur Conan Doyle. Theater companies have adapted ghost stories for stages like Shakespeare’s Globe .

But do people still want Christmas to be scary?

George Hoyle, who runs the South East London Folklore Society, thinks they do. Mr. Hoyle discussed the history of the tradition before reading a famous tale to audiences at a local cafe this month.

“It is a scary place, but it’s safe at the same time, because we are all together,” he said of contrasting the coziness of a warm cafe with the spooky tales. Mulled wine and minced pies were served.

Several of Mr. Maguire’s ghost story nights sold out, and the company also hosted a competition for locals to submit their own ghost tales to be performed.

“It’s mankind’s oldest form of entertainment,” he said. “It’s cold, it’s dark, and people want to have that kind of fear factor.”

Ghost stories tend to remind people to reflect on their morals, values and how precious time is spent, something that still resonates in today’s working world, said Professor Cadwallader. “We are as busy as the Victorians were — and we still find it comforting to step out of time for a little bit.”

So, gather some friends. Draw the blinds. Read some tried and tested chillers, like Elizabeth Gaskell’s “The Old Nurse’s Story,” or Montague Rhodes James’s “The Mezzotint.” Listen — what was that sound? A whisper? A guilty conscience? Or the sound of Christmas on its way?

Isabella Kwai is a breaking news reporter in the London bureau. She joined The Times in 2017 as part of the Australia bureau. More about Isabella Kwai

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Silent night? On Christmas Eve, Bethlehem resembles a ghost town.

Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem have all been muffled by the Israel-Hamas war. The once-busy biblical city in the West Bank misses its festive traditions as both residents and visitors search for the holiday spirit.

  • By Melanie Lidman Associated Press

December 24, 2023 | Bethlehem, West Bank

The typically bustling biblical birthplace of Jesus resembled a ghost town Sunday after Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem were called off due to the Israel-Hamas war.

The festive lights and Christmas tree that normally decorate Manger Square were missing, as were the throngs of foreign tourists and jubilant youth marching bands that gather in the West Bank town each year to mark the holiday. Dozens of Palestinian security forces patrolled the empty square.

“This year, without the Christmas tree and without lights, there’s just darkness,” said Brother John Vinh, a Franciscan monk from Vietnam who has lived in Jerusalem for six years.

Mr. Vinh said he always comes to Bethlehem to mark Christmas, but this year was especially sobering. He gazed at a nativity scene in Manger Square with a baby Jesus wrapped in a white shroud, reminiscent of the thousands of children killed in the fighting in Gaza.

Barbed wire surrounded the scene, the grey rubble reflecting none of the joyous lights and bursts of color that normally fill the square during the Christmas season. Cold, rainy weather added to the grim mood.

The cancellation of Christmas festivities was a severe blow to the town’s economy. Tourism accounts for an estimated 70% of Bethlehem’s income – almost all of that during the Christmas season.

With many major airlines canceling flights to Israel, few foreigners are visiting. Local officials say over 70 hotels in Bethlehem were forced to close, leaving thousands of people unemployed.

Gift shops were slow to open on Christmas Eve, although a few did once the rain had stopped pouring down. There were few visitors, however.

“We can’t justify putting out a tree and celebrating as normal, when some people (in Gaza) don’t even have houses to go to,” said Ala’a Salameh, one of the owners of Afteem Restaurant, a family-owned falafel restaurant just steps from the square.

Mr. Salameh said Christmas Eve is usually the busiest day of the year. “Normally, you can’t find a single chair to sit, we’re full from morning till midnight,” said Mr. Salameh. On Sunday morning, just one table was taken, by journalists taking a break from the rain.

Under a banner that read “Bethlehem’s Christmas bells ring for a cease-fire in Gaza,” a few teenagers offered small inflatable Santas, but no one was buying.

Instead of their traditional march through the streets of Bethlehem, young scouts stood silently with flags. A group of local students unfurled a massive Palestinian flag as they stood in silence.

An organist with the Church of the Nativity choir, Shukry Mubarak, said the group changed much of the traditional Christmas musical repertoire from joyful holiday songs to more solemn hymns in minor keys.

“Our message every year on Christmas is one of peace and love, but this year it’s a message of sadness, grief, and anger in front of the international community with what is happening and going on in the Gaza Strip,” Bethlehem’s mayor, Hana Haniyeh, said in an address to the crowd.

Dr. Joseph Mugasa, a pediatrician, was one of the few international visitors. He said his tour group of 15 people from Tanzania was “determined” to come to the region despite the situation.

“I’ve been here several times, and it’s quite a unique Christmas, as usually there’s a lot of people and a lot of celebrations,” he said. “But you can’t celebrate while people are suffering, so we are sad for them and praying for peace.”

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 50,000 wounded during Israel’s air and ground offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, according to health officials there, while some 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced.

The war was triggered by Hamas’ deadly assault Oct. 7 on southern Israel in which militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took more than 240 hostages.

The war in Gaza has been accompanied by a surge in West Bank violence, with some 300 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.

The fighting has affected life across the Israeli-occupied territory. Since Oct. 7, access to Bethlehem and other Palestinian towns in the West Bank has been difficult, with long lines of motorists waiting to pass military checkpoints. The restrictions have also prevented tens of thousands of Palestinians from exiting the territory to work in Israel.

Amir Michael Giacaman opened his store, “Il Bambino,” which sells olive wood carvings and other souvenirs, for the first time since Oct. 7. There have been no tourists, and few local residents have money to spare because those who worked in Israel have been stuck at home.

“When people have extra money, they go buy food,” said his wife, Safa Giacaman. “This year, we’re telling the Christmas story. We’re celebrating Jesus, not the tree, not Santa Claus, she said, as their daughter Mikaella ran around the deserted store.

The fighting in Gaza was on the minds of the small Christian community in Syria, which is coping with a civil war now in its 13th year. Christians said they were trying to find joy, despite the ongoing strife in their homeland and in Gaza.

“Where is the love? What have we done with love?” said the Rev. Elias Zahlawi, a priest in Yabroud, a city about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Damascus. “We’ve thrown God outside the realm of humanity and unfortunately, the church has remained silent in the face of this painful reality.”

Some tried to find inspiration in the spirit of Christmas.

Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, arriving from Jerusalem for the traditional procession to the Church of the Nativity, told the sparse crowd that Christmas was a “reason to hope” despite the war and violence.

The pared-down Christmas was in keeping with the original message of the holiday and illustrated the many ways the community is coming together, said Stephanie Saldaña, who is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and has lived in Jerusalem and Bethlehem for the past 15 years with her husband, a parish priest at the St Joseph Syriac Catholic Church.

“We feel Christmas as more real than ever, because we’re waiting for the prince of peace to come. We are waiting for a miracle to stop this war,” Ms. Saldaña said.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. 

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Horace Camp: The ghost of Christmas Past

In the wake of Christmas Present, Horace Camp hankers for the days of Christmas Past and dreads Christmas Future...

the ghost of christmas past is silent

I’m QUITE an authority on Christmas, having an enormous number of them under my belt. Christmas means different things at different times of life and mostly revolves around children. At first you are the child, then it is your children, and then your grandchildren. But one constant with Christmas is about the past. Christmas is tradition, joy and sadness all wrapped up in one parcel and sprinkled with love. Every year, as we approach its final days, this is our opportunity to get together and draw a line under, in this case, 2023. With our family around us, including many ghosts, as we grow older the number of ghosts and empty places increase, which is both sad and joyful, truly bittersweet. We eat, we exchange presents, we eat, we play games, we eat and we chat. The youngsters make new memories and the oldsters pass on their memories in the hope something will stick in the minds of the young. How I regret not taking more notice of my elders’ boring tales or asking them more questions about their childhoods and their parents’ and parents’ lives. But we all wait too long and they are gone when we want to know more about where we came from. My parents lived through exceptional times, the First World War, the Great Depression of the '30s and the Second World War. Interesting times, eh? But not interesting enough for me to want to know much about it. But some of the reminiscences stuck and I’m grateful for those opportunities of Christmas Past when my elders were reminiscing while I was more interested in the gifts from my cracker than listening. In true boring grandad style I tried to interest my grandson in tales of the past. I told him of people long gone and living in times he could hardly imagine. Knowledge that seemed as natural to me as breathing was a complete mystery to him. He thought I had made up the word mangold, and found my explanation that it was similar in some ways to fodder beet, something else he had never heard of. Working horses, houses with electricity in only a few rooms or even no electricity at all. Wirelesses with valves that had to warm up. People taking their wireless batteries to a radio shop to be charged. Few people with phones, the TV or cars. No central heating, no fitted carpets, and of course the ubiquitous outside toilet. Children wandered freely and of course walked to and from school by themselves. Even came home for lunch. And of course searched bunkers for anything militaria, often finding stuff much too dangerous for little hands. The doctor would visit you at home if you were sick, but you had to be really sick for that. All other sickness was cured by bed and Lucozade. Don’t think that children could get away with much. The Guernsey network was as fast as the internet. Get up to no good and your mum would know before you got home and the naughty step was still years in the future. Children entered the workforce in their early teens and most work was of the manual variety. These children lived at home paying ‘board’ and contributing to household income. They left home in their late teens, early twenties when they got married and started their own families. This was Guernsey. In my lifetime. A very different place and a very different community to today. It wasn’t perfect, but it was my home.

I have been accused on social media of living in a bubble inside a bubble and if that is correct then my bubble is that old Guernsey. The Guernsey of Christmas Past. The past is said to be a foreign country but to me the present is that foreign country and the past my homeland. Christmas is about the past but here we are now approaching the new year. The future beckons and is a plain piece of paper waiting to be created. We are in the limbo period of the present. And the present is frankly poo emoji. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are out and the rider of the red horse is laughing at us all. We, the human race, with our free destiny, can make anything happen in 2024. Here on our little island home we can’t solve the big problems of the world, but we can change our island home for the better by working together to return us to a position we once held as the Happiest Place on Earth. This shouldn’t be confused with the failed political policy introduced in 2016 to make us the happiest and healthiest place in the world. Such aims are not within the powers of politicians. Only we, the people, can make such a thing happen. Politics divides people and our modern politics are the most divisive I have seen in my lifetime. We are Sarnians, a single people living on a small rock in a small channel. We have simple wants and needs. We would very much like to live the lives of my generation but with the internet. Instead we find ourselves after years of growth with lots more ‘rights’, worse off and more divided as a community since an invading force was half of it. Let’s make a collective New Year’s resolution to sort this place out. First we must stop asking for things that are nice to have just because every other Western democracy has it. Ombudsmen, active travel units, and all bureaucratic Uncle Tom Cobleys and all that not only don’t butter our parsnips but expect us to provide their parsnips as well. We are not a rich economy. Our GDP is as phooey as Ireland’s which is distorted by their corporate tax regime just as is ours. We have a high GDP per capita yet we are generally poor. Families can’t live on a single income anymore. In fact families are no longer affordable on two salaries. Seventy years of growth has made us poorer than our parents when it comes to quality of life. Dear politicians, our community doesn’t have enough money to live comfortably on. That means you can’t take more, in fact it would be a great help if you took less. Here’s what you need to do. Make a decision to only spend money when it makes Sarnians better off financially. If there’s a choice between Mrs Le Page having £1 a week more in her purse, or planting a green-washing tree in Fife, then please favour Mrs Le Page. I’m hopeful that 2024 could be the year we start looking after ourselves and achieve it by all working together for our own common good. If we don’t look after ourselves no one else will. Happy New Year, everyone.

Keeping to the status quo could be a fatal mistake Readers' Letters | Just now

An issue for many local families Guernsey Press Comment | Just now

the ghost of christmas past is silent

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Whiskey Riff

Whiskey Riff

Carrie Underwood’s Grand Ole Opry Performance Of “Silent Night” Is Perfect For Your Christmas Morning

Posted: December 25, 2023 | Last updated: December 25, 2023

Carrie Underwood   is the queen of country Christmas music.

Something about her voice is just perfect on a classic like some of the ones we’ve shared in the past, “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”,   and her live performance of “Silent Night” from the 2021 Opry Live: USO Holiday Special.

Also from her deluxe  My Gift Christmas album, this traditional hymn was first composed and performed in 1818 at a church in Austria.

Of course, it’s been covered countless times from people in every genre you can imagine across generations of artists. One of the most well-known versions by Bing Crosby that was released in 1935 has sold an incredible 10 million copies as a single worldwide.

And for me, it’s hard to think of another Christmas song that truly captures the essence of the holiday season and meaning of this particular day quite like this one.

It always brings back so many childhood memories of holding candles and glow sticks while singing it at church on Christmas Eve, and I’m sure many of you have similar experiences, which just makes Carrie’s version that much more meaningful.

From all of us here at Whiskey Riff, have a wonderful Christmas… it’s well worth it to take a few minutes out of the craziness of celebrating this year with family and friends to watch this:

And while you’re here, her live performance of “O Holy Night” is absolutely stunning, too:

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On Christmas Eve, Bethlehem resembles a ghost town. Celebrations are halted due to Israel-Hamas war

In solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, the municipality of Bethlehem has organized an artwork called “Nativity under the Rubble” in Manger Square where a decorated Christmas tree usually stands. (Dec. 23)

A priest walks by the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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Catholic clergy walk in procession next to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A nativity scene decorated to honor the victims in Gaza is displayed in Manger Square, near the Nativity Church, which is traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinian scouts hold signs in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip calling to end the Israel-Hamas war, near the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

People visit the Grotto under the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People visit the Grotto under the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

People hold a giant Palestinian flag in Manger Square, near the Nativity Church, which is traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

People hold a giant Palestinian flag in Manger Square, near the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People hold Santa Claus balloons on Christmas Eve, near the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus’ traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — The typically bustling biblical birthplace of Jesus resembled a ghost town Sunday after Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem were called off due to the Israel-Hamas war .

The festive lights and Christmas tree that normally decorate Manger Square were missing, as were the throngs of foreign tourists and jubilant youth marching bands that gather in the West Bank town each year to mark the holiday. Dozens of Palestinian security forces patrolled the empty square.

“This year, without the Christmas tree and without lights, there’s just darkness,” said Brother John Vinh, a Franciscan monk from Vietnam who has lived in Jerusalem for six years.

Vinh said he always comes to Bethlehem to mark Christmas, but this year was especially sobering. He gazed at a nativity scene in Manger Square with a baby Jesus wrapped in a white shroud, reminiscent of the thousands of children killed in the fighting in Gaza.

A nativity scene decorated to honor the victims in Gaza is displayed in Manger Square, near the Nativity Church, which is traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus' traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Barbed wire surrounded the scene, the grey rubble reflecting none of the joyous lights and bursts of color that normally fill the square during the Christmas season. Cold, rainy weather added to the grim mood.

The cancellation of Christmas festivities was a severe blow to the town’s economy. Tourism accounts for an estimated 70% of Bethlehem’s income — almost all of that during the Christmas season.

With many major airlines canceling flights to Israel, few foreigners are visiting. Local officials say over 70 hotels in Bethlehem were forced to close, leaving thousands of people unemployed.

Israeli army troops are seen near the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Gift shops were slow to open on Christmas Eve, although a few did once the rain had stopped pouring down. There were few visitors, however.

“We can’t justify putting out a tree and celebrating as normal, when some people (in Gaza) don’t even have houses to go to,” said Ala’a Salameh, one of the owners of Afteem Restaurant, a family-owned falafel restaurant just steps from the square.

Salameh said Christmas Eve is usually the busiest day of the year. “Normally, you can’t find a single chair to sit, we’re full from morning till midnight,” said Salameh. On Sunday morning, just one table was taken, by journalists taking a break from the rain.

Under a banner that read “Bethlehem’s Christmas bells ring for a cease-fire in Gaza,” a few teenagers offered small inflatable Santas, but no one was buying.

A priest walks by the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Bethlehem is having a subdued Christmas after officials in Jesus' traditional birthplace decided to forgo celebrations due to the Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Instead of their traditional march through the streets of Bethlehem, young scouts stood silently with flags. A group of local students unfurled a massive Palestinian flag as they stood in silence.

An organist with the Church of the Nativity choir, Shukry Mubarak, said the group changed much of the traditional Christmas musical repertoire from joyful holiday songs to more solemn hymns in minor keys.

“Our message every year on Christmas is one of peace and love, but this year it’s a message of sadness, grief and anger in front of the international community with what is happening and going on in the Gaza Strip,” Bethlehem’s mayor, Hana Haniyeh, said in an address to the crowd.

Dr. Joseph Mugasa, a pediatrician, was one of the few international visitors. He said his tour group of 15 people from Tanzania was “determined” to come to the region despite the situation.

“I’ve been here several times, and it’s quite a unique Christmas, as usually there’s a lot of people and a lot of celebrations,” he said. “But you can’t celebrate while people are suffering, so we are sad for them and praying for peace.”

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 50,000 wounded during Israel’s air and ground offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, according to health officials there, while some 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced.

The war was triggered by Hamas’ deadly assault Oct. 7 on southern Israel in which militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took more than 240 hostages.

The Gaza war has been accompanied by a surge in West Bank violence , with some 300 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.

The fighting has affected life across the Israeli-occupied territory. Since Oct. 7, access to Bethlehem and other Palestinian towns in the West Bank has been difficult, with long lines of motorists waiting to pass military checkpoints. The restrictions have also prevented tens of thousands of Palestinians from exiting the territory to work in Israel.

Amir Michael Giacaman opened his store, “Il Bambino,” which sells olive wood carvings and other souvenirs, for the first time since Oct. 7. There have been no tourists, and few local residents have money to spare because those who worked in Israel have been stuck at home.

“When people have extra money, they go buy food,” said his wife, Safa Giacaman. “This year, we’re telling the Christmas story. We’re celebrating Jesus, not the tree, not Santa Claus, she said, as their daughter Mikaella ran around the deserted store.

The fighting in Gaza was on the minds of the small Christian community in Syria, which is coping with a civil war now in its 13th year. Christians said they were trying to find joy, despite the ongoing strife in their homeland and in Gaza.

“Where is the love? What have we done with love?” said the Rev. Elias Zahlawi, a priest in Yabroud, a city about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Damascus. “We’ve thrown God outside the realm of humanity and unfortunately, the church has remained silent in the face of this painful reality.”

Some tried to find inspiration in the spirit of Christmas.

Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, arriving from Jerusalem for the traditional procession to the Church of the Nativity, told the sparse crowd that Christmas was a “reason to hope” despite the war and violence.

The pared-down Christmas was in keeping with the original message of the holiday and illustrated the many ways the community is coming together, said Stephanie Saldaña, who is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and has lived in Jerusalem and Bethlehem for the past 15 years with her husband, a parish priest at the St Joseph Syriac Catholic Church.

“We feel Christmas as more real than ever, because we’re waiting for the prince of peace to come. We are waiting for a miracle to stop this war,” Saldaña said.

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  6. The Ghost Of Christmas Past Movie

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COMMENTS

  1. Ghost of Christmas Past

    The Ghost of Christmas Past is concerned with the Christmases from Scrooge's past. [1] Appearing to be both young and old, the spirit carries a large cap in the shape of a candle extinguisher under its arm. From the top of its head shines a bright light that illuminates Scrooge's memories. Background

  2. The Ghost of Christmas Past Character Analysis in A Christmas Carol

    A Christmas Carol is an allegory, and the compassionate, soft-spoken Ghost of Christmas Past represents memory. His appearance is strange, and most notably fluid, indicating the constantly shifting nature of remembering. That the ghost appears to be both childlike and aged, "like an old man," suggests memory serves as a bridge between different points in life.

  3. In A Christmas Carol, how has Scrooge's reaction to the spirits changed

    When the Ghost of Christmas Past arrives, Scrooge is nonchalant, but as the three spirits show him more and more scenes from past, present, and future that awaken his memories and emotions,...

  4. Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol

    Lesson Summary Frequently Asked Questions What does the Ghost of Christmas Past represent? As the ghost who takes Scrooge on a journey of his past, The Ghost of Christmas Past...

  5. PDF The Ghosts

    Character Summary The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first of the three Spirits which appear to Scrooge. The Ghost takes him to observe various scenes from his past, which allows the reader to empathise with Scrooge. This is because Dickens often adopts

  6. Characters

    Silent Dark Ominous The final Ghost is frightening and eerie. It doesn't say a word to Scrooge, but glides along and points out scenes to him. The spirit first shows Scrooge a funeral scene,...

  7. Characters

    ephemeral spirit that appears to be both old and young at the same time with light streaming from the top of its head. It takes Scrooge to scenes from his own past, showing him visions of his own...

  8. A Christmas Carol (1999 film)

    Release. December 5, 1999. ( 1999-12-05) A Christmas Carol is a 1999 British-American made-for-television film adaptation of Charles Dickens ' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol that was first televised December 5, 1999, on TNT. [1] It was directed by David Jones and stars Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge and Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit.

  9. The Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come, ranked by freakiness

    Tight-fisted, mean old miser Ebenezer Scrooge falls asleep on Christmas Eve and is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, a man in a sleeping cap; the Ghost of Christmas...

  10. A Christmas Carol Stave 2 Flashcards

    Why does Scrooge want to cover the light? Scrooge doesn't want to remember more past experiences. At the beginning of the chapter, Scrooge wants the Spirit wear its hat. Why? Scrooge wanted the spirit to cover its light and disappear. Various Questions regarding Stave 2 Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free.

  11. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    The Ghost of Christmas Past appears and shows Scrooge events from past Christmas Eves. These include a happy memory of when his first boss, Fezziwig, threw a big party, and a sad memory of when ...

  12. A Christmas Carol- ghosts key quotes Flashcards

    -The third and final spirit to visit Scrooge, a silent phantom clad in a hooded black robe. He presents Scrooge with an ominous view of his lonely death. -The Ghost takes Scrooge to future events and points to the details Scrooge needs to see, but does not answer any questions.

  13. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    A version of the Ghost of Christmas Future appears in the 2017 reboot of DuckTales in the episode "Last Christmas!". He is mostly silent with just a few occasional grunts and resembles a carcass more than a skeleton. He, along with the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future visit Scrooge McDuck every year just to hang out after accidentally ...

  14. 3.11.4 Assignment: Film and Literature: A Christmas Carol

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like A chain made of cash boxes, keys, and padlocks/a wrap holding his jaw closed/a transparent body, A child that looks like an old man, False, the Ghost of Christmas Past is depicted as creepy and silent in both the film and book. and more.

  15. A Description of the Ghosts in "A Christmas Carol"

    The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge out on the city's streets to see the common people celebrating Christmas. The ghost sees a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch in a fireplace corner. He tells Scrooge that if changes are not made in the present, the boy will die. Tiny Tim is the son of Scrooge's employee, Bob Cratchit.

  16. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol

    The Spirit, stronger yet, repulsed him. Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate reversed, he saw an alteration in the Phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost. (4.151-166) Scrooge has gone from fighting the ghosts off to trying desperately to hold onto them and not go back to his own reality.

  17. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    The shrouded, ominous, and silent Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is Scrooge's last visitor and shows him a vision of a Christmas Day soon after his death. [1] Background Dickens portrait by Margaret Gillies (1843), painted during the period when he was writing A Christmas Carol.

  18. Christmas Past (1925)

    2h 1925 Overview Synopsis Film Details Articles & Reviews Brief Synopsis A compilation of Christmas-themed short, silent films. Film Details Also Known As Silent Christmas Genre Silent Compilation Short Release Date 1925 Technical Specs Duration 2h TCM Emails Sign Up now to stay up to date with all of the latest news from TCM. Sign Up

  19. The Movie Quiz: Who is the Ghost of Christmas Past to Scrooge McDuck's

    Alistair Sim in Scrooge aka A Christmas Carol (1951) Donald Clarke. Fri Dec 22 2023 - 08:00. Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone ...

  20. Ghosts of Christmas past

    Ghosts of Christmas past. Black and white photos evoke memories of those who loved us. Kurt Ullrich. Dec. 24, 2023 7:36 am (Kurt Ullrich photo) Earlier I was in my basement looking for an unused ...

  21. Ghosts of Christmas Past (TV Movie 2021)

    Ghosts of Christmas Past: Directed by Virginia Abramovich. With Annie Clark, Dan Jeannotte, Morgan David Jones, Connie Wang. Ellie is told by a fortune teller that she must resolve her past and make amends with all of those she ghosted before Christmas and discovers love in the process.

  22. Forget Halloween, Bring Ghost Stories Back to Christmas

    Dec. 20, 2023. At the most wonderful time of the year, there is one tradition that John Maguire remembers fondly: his Liverpudlian grandmother trying to scare the daylights out of him. Without ...

  23. Silent night? On Christmas Eve, Bethlehem resembles a ghost town

    On Christmas Eve, Bethlehem resembles a ghost town. ... and has lived in Jerusalem and Bethlehem for the past 15 years with her husband, a parish priest at the St Joseph Syriac Catholic Church ...

  24. Darkest Holiday Creatures, Ranked

    Santa Claus is actually a demon who lost a bet with an angel, so he becomes the giver of toys and happiness. But when the bet is off, he returns to his evil ways. Release Date 2005-10-25. Director ...

  25. Ghost of Christmas Past: New England Patriots Upset Denver Broncos on

    On a Christmas Eve night reminiscent of their glorious past, the New England Patriots squandered a big fourth-quarter lead before upsetting the Denver Broncos on a last-second field goal, 26-23.

  26. Horace Camp: The ghost of Christmas Past

    The ghost of Christmas Past. In the wake of Christmas Present, Horace Camp hankers for the days of Christmas Past and dreads Christmas Future. Published Just now. 2144780165 (32835173) I'm QUITE an authority on Christmas, having an enormous number of them under my belt. Christmas means different things at different times of life and mostly ...

  27. Carrie Underwood's Grand Ole Opry Performance Of "Silent ...

    Carrie Underwood is the queen of country Christmas music. Something about her voice is just perfect on a classic like some of the ones we've shared in the past, "O Come All Ye Faithful" and ...

  28. On Christmas Eve, Bethlehem looks like a ghost town because of the

    Updated 10:16 AM PST, December 24, 2023. BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — The typically bustling biblical birthplace of Jesus resembled a ghost town Sunday after Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem were called off due to the Israel-Hamas war. The festive lights and Christmas tree that normally decorate Manger Square were missing, as were the ...