On the tenth day of Christmas Gilli Allan shares a special ornament...
I don’t have one favourite Christmas ornament. I could offer several, some because they are beautiful, like my feather peacock, or some because they’re cute and funny and make me laugh, like my flying sheep, or my fairy, who looks like an eccentric Ophelia at her most crazy. Or I could go for sentiment, and offer the red sparkly Santas that my son picked out in Woolworths, when he was tiny, which have graced our tree ever since.
My mother died in 1986, the year my first book was published. Then Christmas irrevocably changed. No more large, fun, family gatherings at my parents’ spacious home. From then on my siblings and I did our own thing. Yet I still try to recreate the Christmases of my youth. I make my own mince pies, sausage rolls, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. I even make bread sauce, solely because the scent of milk and bread crumbs, simmering with the clove studded onion and bay leaves, evokes the warmth of my mum’s ‘Christmas Eve’ kitchen.
So the ornament I’ve chosen is the one I rescued, after my father died in 2009. It goes back as far as I can remember ̶ to those days when we hung the tree with threaded puffs of cotton-wool, to mimic snow. Those were the days when we woke early, in feverish excitement, with a heavy, crackly knitted stocking across our feet; the days when grandparents, aunts and uncles all visited. The Christmas of my own childhood.
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