Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on ‘Bookaholic Confessions’, Holly!
I’ve always loved the anticipation of Christmas gifts – the excitement of waking to feel the weight of a full stocking at the end of the bed, the magic of presents appearing under the tree. A wrapped gift has so much potential. Now as an adult it’s more of a thrill seeing the happiness well chosen gifts bring. It’s a cliché perhaps, but it’s not about the money as much as the thought that goes into a present. Some of the absolute best gifts we had growing up were the Santa sacks from our aunty Margaret, stuffed full of all the things our parents would never let us have – green nail varnish, matches, indoor fireworks. Everyone needs an aunty like that. I have a feeling she also gave me the drum kit.
I don’t start buying gifts until December – half the fun is enjoying the season rather than frantically planning ahead. But I do listen well during the year, and if a loved one mentions something they’ve seen, a book they’ve read a great review of, or a film they want to see, I keep a note. I’ve also kept the children’s Christmas wish lists over the years, and the notes to Santa. They’re great to look back on, and you forget so much (the year of our daughter’s obsession with practical jokes, the frantic search for a plastic poo …).
Now the children’s lists are less exotic, and full of electronics, but everyone gets books, and annuals (how I used to love those as a child), and an orange in the toe of their stockings. It’s a standing joke that books and perfume are all I ever ask for. Thinking back over the years, there’s no common thread to the best presents I’ve been given. The old lipstick red Renault 5, my first car, which was like a handbag on wheels. The copy of Norman Mailer’s ‘Ancient Evenings’ (the first gift from my then boyfriend, now husband). The diamond studs I wear every day which he gave me the Christmas after the birth of our son. Perhaps there is a thread – I loved them all. And that is what the best gifts are about, after all – they are given and received with love. This year as well as books and perfume, I’m adding boxing gloves to my Christmas list, in memory of Aunty Margaret.
How about you? What are you hoping for, and giving this year?
A huge thank you to Kate and Lucy at Orion. ♥
A talented young jewellery designer fights to rebuild her life and family by solving the mystery surrounding a diamond brooch given to her by her grandmother.
When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life. Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…