The arrival of my eldest daughter on Wednesday has brought my family together for Christmas. With the togetherness comes the usual family banter and walks down memory lane. This year memories are particularly strongly focused on books of Christmasses past, as my focus the past 6 months has been on writing books.
I'm not a traditional Christmas person, come to think of it, I don't really do much 'by the book' at all, pardon the pun. I like to do everything slightly differently from the norm. This year I decided, too late, that I needed new tree ornaments and that what I really wanted was old world fairies, elves, gnomes and suchlike. Why, you might ask? Because I love and like them, as well as a vast array of other worldly interesting, alternative history, science, healing, energy, and environments, to name a few. Check out my Pinterest boards to get an idea! http://www.pinterest.com/leonievdvorle/
But I'm wandering and beginning to obsess. Back to Christmas tree ornaments. Living in a small town meant my local stores had nothing, so I began an online search. Dissapointingly, and unbelievably, not much of what I like is available in Auatralia, so my search took me to the U.S and the U.K. It was then that I hit the jackpot, and ultimately a most wonderful surprise with multitudes of memories, books taken off bookshelves, texts and photos sent to my daughters and son and a fairy purchase of $45.
I found a gorgeous Sugar Plum Fairy, but didn't buy her because even though she was only $10 or so, postage from the U.S to Australia is in the order of around $25 to $30, so I decided to pass for the moment. Bother. Looking further I found my treasure. A Cicely Mary Barker Christmas Tree Fairy from Flower Fairies of the Winter book! Now this is no ordinary Flower Fairy. This Flower Fairy is very special. When my children were young in the late 1980's, early 1990's, we had all the Flower Fairy books and the girls in particular, of course, loved them so much I was commissioned to make each of them a Flower Fairy dress. My elder daughter who was 6, chose the Blackberry Fairy, and my younger daughter, 4, chose the Christmas Tree Fairy.
So not knowing these Flower Fairy ornaments existed, imagine my surprise to find them. I ordered the Christmas Tree Fairy on the spot, $45 delivered to my front door, after Christmas, but I didn't care about the price or the lateness.
Off I went to get the Flower Fairy books off the bookshelf. The dust covers had long gone, some pages were more worn than others, but I sat there for an hour, going over every image again. Down came the photo album, and sure enough, late 1992 had photos of my girls in their dresses, with my 2 year old son in an elf costume. I was over the moon with joy and happiness. I immediately mms'd my kids and we all OMGoodnessed over the memories. It's wonderful to be family, and for me it's been great that these memories surfaced at this time of year. They've even given me an idea for a book!
And speaking further of books, I then went and retrieved the Christmas books from the bookshelf. "Father Christmas" by Raymond Briggs, "Letters from Father Christmas" by J.R.R. Tolkien, and, just for fun, "Fairy Book An Anthology of Verse" by Shirley Barber and last but not least, one of my favourite books, Brian Froud's "good faeries - bad faeries".
All of these books are available on Goodreads. So it's that time of year when, after the Christmas feast is consumed and all the guest have departed and all you want to do is curl up with a good book and 'quietly' spend a few hours reading away from the hustle and bustle. Transport yourself into another realm with a browse through the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 for best voted books of the year https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fiction-books-2013
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, relax, enjoy the holidays, be safe.
See you next week.
Love and best wishes, Leonie and family from hot Australia.