16 December 2011

My Favourite Christmas... by Claire Allan

Welcome back to my Christmas 2011 feature! As you know, I've asked lots of authors to write something about their favourite Christmas, and I've been lucky to have a great response. Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming the lovely Claire Allan!

Christmas is simple pleasures. Each year as a child there would be much anticipation of the putting up of the Christmas tree. There were no fancy themed decorated, no colour schemes, no twinkling multi function lights. The collection of baubles my mother had - and still has - were a mish mash of pieces collected over the years. Bright coloured glass trinkets, wooden figures, home made angels with wool for hair, Santas who looked more than a little camp. The one string of coloured, flower lights was draped over the tree. And our highlight was the ceremonial placing of our Christmas fair, a plastic figure wearing a tutu on top who we christened Matilda. (Indeed in my second novel Feels Like Maybe, the angel in 'Instant Karma' was named in her honour.)

All this would be done to the soundtrack of John Denver and the Muppets 'A Christmas Together' and we would go from singing sweeting along with Silent Night to jumping up and down in our new pyjamas to 'Little Saint Nick' - fighting to do the Animal solo.

Ceiling decorations were hung. Paper chains were made from sticky paper. Balloons were blown up and tacked to the ceiling. One or more of us (me having two sisters and a brother) would have no doubt made a crib in school from a shoe box, with a tin foil covered star and some plaster moulded figures. The fire was lit, the lights always seemed dimmed, and we would smell the soup cooking in the kitchen and the aroma of mammy's home made apple pies baking in the oven.

Christmas was perfect. It was simple. There was no rush and no fuss. There was a quiet anticipation to all and if I close my eyes I can still hear the late great John Denver singing Silent Night.

You can read my review of Claire's latest book If Only You Knew right here. You can buy the book in paperback at Amazon too!

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