It's that spooky time of year again! And no, I'm not talking about Halloween -- the one night of year when devils, demons, and monsters not only have license to roam our neighborhood streets -- they're rewarded for doing so with heaping helpings of candy. I'm talking about something that lasts longer and is way scarier: It's the season when ghosts from past marriages try to move in and freeload off you from now through the first of the year.
Something about the triple whammy of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas acts as a silver plated invitation to these old ghosts. Women who are not in relationships make easy prey. They suddenly find themselves nostalgic for the time before their divorce when everyone was one big happy family. If this describes you, black magic is playing tricks on your mind. You weren't one big happy family. That's why you got a divorce.
If you find yourself falling under the spell of these ghosts, never fear! There are things you can do to ward off these evil spirits.
Protect this house. An unflattering photo of your ex is to nostalgic feelings what garlic is to vampires. Nothing wards them off better. Take an unflattering photo of your ex (and really, that shouldn't be hard to find) flip it face down and tape it above each exterior door to your house. That way, when you're coming and going from your house, you'll be reminded--without actually having to look at it--of the not-so-flattering reality of your ex. That will keep those false feelings from stealthily slipping back into your house.
Truth is scarier than fiction. Part of the dark magic that these ghosts practice is that they steal your actual memories and replace them with fictional ones making you believe that the holidays used to be great back when you were married. The best antidote for this is a huge blast of reality smelling salts. Spend a minute or two remembering what those holidays were really like. You weren't both working side-by-side after the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve, sipping eggnog, listening to Christmas songs, and getting everything just right for Christmas morning. While your ex sawed Yule logs, it was just you all by your lonesome working until the wee hours of the morning like an exploited elf in desperate need of a toy makers' union.
Don't fall for apparitions. When it comes to the art of illusion, these ghosts are better than David Copperfield. You might find yourself replaying happy holiday moments that are so detailed you could swear were real! When that happens, zap them with the bright light of truth and watch how fast they vaporize. That Thanksgiving Day when you were making mashed potatoes and you suddenly realized you were out of butter and your ex enthusiastically volunteered to get off the couch and drive to the store and get some for you? His cell phone records later reflected that he called his special lady friend the minute he left the house.
Once you've driven a silver stake into the heart of these old ghosts, get into the spirit of the season by turning your attention to all that you have to be thankful for now. Sure, everything falls on your shoulders, but when you stop and think about it, that's not any different that how it used to be when you were married. And now that you don't share an address with the Grinch anymore, you get to celebrate the holidays exactly how you want to! And that's a gift you can actually enjoy--unlike those tickets to that NASCAR race your ex gave you the last Christmas you were together.
Follow the tips above and have a happy and not-at-all-haunted holiday season!