"Who and what are you?"
"I am the Ghost of Christmas Past."
"Your parents bought me when you were a child. Do the math."
"And you come to me now?"
"You used to be crazy about me. Also, I've heard you had a bad week, so I thought I'd come around."
"Oh – well, that's pretty considerate…so why did I like you so much?"
"I was a good-looking Christmas decoration – you know, distinctive. And who knows? Maybe you had a Bambi fixation as well. You were an odd kid."
"Oh, you're still pretty peculiar. What's this about you and insects?"
"Forget about that. What I meant was, why would I like you now?"
"Listen, time takes its toll, Miss Fifty-Years-Old. It's true that my antlers are melting away, my neck is cracked and my paint is withered. So, shall I be going? I mean, I don't want to take anyone's attention from that leaning-tower of a Christmas tree you have up there."
"You've got some lip for a Ghost."
"Look, I think I can do you some good."
"Well…you are kind of cute, in a recently-unearthed Herculaneum kind of way…"
"Oh, that's nice. And you're telling me I'm the mouthy one."
"Listen: what good can you do me? I have lots of decorations here."
"How many are tied to your childhood? That you loved with such enthusiastic innocence? You used to lie close to the tree, smelling its green smell and staring at me – memorizing my face, to see you through the rest of the year."
"I did that?"
"Yes – you were kind of cute, too. And I'll leave out the Vesuvius reference."
"What else do you remember?"
"Pink tulle Christmas tree ornaments…"
"Yes! I still have them?"
"Already seen and noted. I remember your mother's money tree, the year you two dressed in matching nightgowns, your cat Pandora covered in tinsel…you don't remember these things?"
"Not until now…"
"Hmmph. Clearly you need help."
"I've forgotten those past Christmases…all they meant…could you help with this one?"
"You're thinking about work, aren't you…and those stupid events in January – am I right?"
"Ha! I am that good. Anyway, I've come here to remind you of your past happy times and to fast forward them to this holiday season."
"Then can you stay with me? I want to remember. Would you mind?"
"Not at all…by the way – I don't know when you last cleaned this table…but you missed a spot."