316pp., pbk., RRP $A15.99
After a year like no other, when things that have been taken for granted for decades have suddenly become novelties, Christmas is coming again -almost the one certainty – and people are returning to the old classic rituals and routines in a way unseen for many years. It is as though the security of the past is bringing comfort in this uncertain present and so it seems logical that we should also turn to the stories that have endured and given such joy in previous times.
If any writer of previous generations has survived that test of time it is Enid Blyton and in this collection of 30 Christmas tales taken from her series and short story collections of yesteryear, young readers will be taken back to a time when there was just the written word, the imagination and the magic. Even those who are not as old as me and who don’t recall Blyton being an integral part of their reading history will revel in the sheer innocence and joy of these simple stories. From a dog who discovers the joy of Christmas to Santa Claus who gets himself out of a muddle with a little help from his friends, these stories celebrate shared times, festivities and wonder. Even if there is no opportunity to organise a full-blown Christmas Countdown, sharing just one story a day as a family or a class will bring back that sense of calm and normality in a world that seems to have gone mad.
This is a collection that holds so many memories for me that I’m passing it on to Miss 14 and Miss 9 knowing they will enjoy them regardless of their ages and that they are likely to hang on to it for that distant day of their own families. Thanks Hachette for adding to the nostalgia.