Temperatures are plummeting, the wind has a real bite to it and your cheeks tingle from the frosty chill outside.
What better time then, to unwind that long scarf from around your neck, shuck off the woolly coat and mittens and tuck your numb feet into a pair of warm, comfy slippers. Then take yourself off into your living room, curl up in your favourite armchair and, if you're lucky enough to have one, stare into the dancing flames of your fire. Listen to the crackling of the logs and bathe in the warmth, as your cheeks turn rosy red.
And what images can you see in those red and yellow flames?
|Figures of Fire and Flame II - Lance Jackson|
Maybe dancing angels or lovers entwined. As a log falls and sends a shower of sparks shooting up the chimney, do you catch a glimpse of a witch stirring in the shadows, or fire sprites darting among the embers? Do gleaming eyes glow red as you watch them? Or do your own eyes grow heavy, while your senses relax?
Firelight in winter, the scent of applewood and Christmas punch. Mulled wine blending with cinnamon and nutmeg. Toasted marshmallows and hot, steaming chocolate.
This is the stuff of stories, and when shared with friends, the telling of them. Tall tales, where ghosts and fae folk scare the unwitting traveller and when fact and fantasy meet, merge and become one.
Here's a wonderful collection of classic Ghost Stories for Christmas on DVD