This Blogmas post is a review of one of my favourite Christmassy books in recent years.
Blurb from Goodreads
Everybody loves a Christmas story. The tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a tradition of celebration, sharing and giving. And what better way to do that than with a story?
Read these stories by the fire, in the snow, travelling home for the holidays. Give them to friends, wrap them up for someone you love, read them aloud, read them alone, read them together. Enjoy the season of peace and goodwill, mystery, and a little bit of magic.
There are ghosts here and jovial spirits. Chances at love and tricks with time.
There is frost and icicles, mistletoe and sledges. There’s a cat and a dog and a solid silver frog. There’s a Christmas cracker with a surprising gift inside.
There’s a haunted house and a SnowMama. There are Yuletides and holly wreaths. Three Kings. And a merry little Christmas time.
And for the icing on the Christmas cake, there are twelve festive recipes from Yuletides past and present. Red cabbage, gravlax, turkey biryani, sherry trifle, Mrs Winterson’s mince pies and more.
This was an impulse buy.
I was standing at the counter in my local bookshop ready to pay for my other purchases when I saw this beautiful looking book. I had to pick it up. The cover was just so tactile; a beautiful woven cloth hardback with gorgeous silver pickups.
How could I resist???
I love all things Christmas. Every year I read countless fluffy Christmassy-themed chick-lits and YA novels… But none of them ever seem to capture that true essence of Christmas.
This book, however, did!
The mix of short stories and recipes for Christmas treats truly worked!
The short stories ranged from sweet to magical to creepy; stories of love, orphans and Christmas ghosts. The stories very much originated in that traditional sense of all things Christmas yet were incredibly contemporary. How the author managed to pull off such a thing is most impressive but then Jeanette Winterson is indeed a very accomplished writer.
But I think what makes this Christmas collection work are the recipes!
Okay, hear me out. This isn’t a cookbook and I probably won’t ever bake any of the recipes but it wasn’t really the actual recipes that were the point of the ‘feasts’ sections of the book. It was the stories that accompanied the recipes; the author’s actual memories, her family, her friends, her loves, her losses…
It was everything that Christmas truly means.
Christmas is a bittersweet time of year. We look back on the happy memories of Christmases past when we shared our lives with those who are no longer with us. We live in the happiness of Christmas present; of calming the world around us for a day, just being still in the moment. And we look to the future; the possibilities of all that is to come. It really is that most magical time of year.
This is a book to be read by the light of your Christmas tree curled up on your comfiest of armchairs or it is a book that you can read aloud from to others…what is it about telling ghost stories at Christmas? Simple pleasures…
Highly recommended to those who want a little Christmas sparkle in their life