My best holiday memory
This question is lifted from author Sahar Sabati's informative Ask an Author series, which ran from 2015-2016 and included responses and reflections from English-speaking authors from around the globe. Since I'm often asked these questions by readers, I have republished my answers here with Sahar's kind permission.
My best holiday memory? Now let’s see…
There’s the most poignant ‒ my elegant opera singer Chinese grandmother wearing my dad’s shorts while helping us to paint our Pukehina beach house one Christmas when I was a kid.
Most ridiculous ‒ the year we decided we would only eat foods beginning with the letter ‘C’, which was great for things like chocolate and Christmas cake and candy, but admittedly the kids were less enthused with cauliflower, cabbage, courgettes, cucumber and capsicum.
Most practical – the make-your-own Christmas presents year, in which I pretty much superglued myself to the kitchen table.
Most worrisome, when our then-puppy managed to climb on chair and chomp her way through half a 5kg dark fruit Christmas cake and we were terrified it might kill her.
Most gruesome – when our friend tried out his new Christmas racing bike and, unused to the bike, had a massive accident at the bottom of the road, and all the adults spent Christmas in the emergency room. (Yes, he survived!)
Most difficult – the year my grandmother died of cancer just before Christmas.
Most joyous ‒ the year my sister came to spend a White Christmas with us in France, which was also the first family Christmas my husband and I shared with our baby girl.
Most fun ‒ the extended family Olympic Games and BBQ at a country school: sack races, egg and spoon, and running backwards races, with plastic medals for the kids.
Most work ‒ the year we all put on our gloves and boots on Christmas Eve and spent the day helping a farmer friend bring in his hay before it rained.
So many rich and varied memories, but I think, or at least I hope, the best Christmas memories are the ones still to come.