Q: Each year beginning at Thanksgiving and continuing on through Christmas, I feel as though I am in touch with angelic beings and the spirits of certain family members who have died. Is this simply the power of suggestion since this is a season of spiritual significance for so many people? Is it because the holiday season causes me to grow nostalgic for the past and revisit so many memories of those dear ones who have passed on? Or is it possible that angelic beings and the spirits of our beloved departed truly do draw nearer to the earth plane during this wonderful, yet sometimes melancholy, time of the year?

A: For many years now we have attempted to derive meaningful and definitive answers to questions like yours. We receive so many reports of spirit and angelic visitations at this time of year that we have considered writing a book called, "Home for the Holidays," which would be devoted solely to accounts of men and women who have welcomed the spirits of their departed loved ones and/or angelic beings during the period from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Skeptics might dismiss such stories as nostalgia, melancholy, or the power of suggestion, and we surely cannot deny that the holiday season for many people is a time of loneliness, depression, and a great longing for "the good old days." Music has a magical ability to rekindle memories associated with significant moments in our lives, and Christmas carols and hymns bring back the enchantment and the wonder of Christmases past.

Unfortunately, for many the sounds of the holiday can also revive sad memories that are subdued during the rest of the year. Many people have lost loved ones during the holiday season. In our own case, Sherry lost her nine-year-old son in an automobile accident at Christmas, and Brad's first wife died at Christmas time, as did his father. Thus, while the cheery melodies about happy snowmen, little drummer boys, and red-nosed reindeers add to the holiday merriment for some, for others the same tunes bring back feelings of loss.

Is it such commingled emotions of Christmas joy and personal sorrow that make us susceptible to a desire to once again glimpse our departed loved ones and receive assurance that they are all right?

Judging by the testimonies of hundreds of sincere men and women who have written to us over the years, the holiday season and all its attendant emotions truly do open doorways between dimensions that may allow deceased relatives to manifest before their families and, in a way, permit them to come home for the holidays--at least in spirit. Perhaps these "furloughs" are gifts to those men and women who believe in such miracles.

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