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Object 10: Christmas: Advent calendars

So far, 26 Children’s Winters is a project of surprises, starting with the lovely surprise of selection. As a relatively new blogger, I approached this new, more official-sounding title of ‘writer’ with a bit of trepidation. This all quickly faded with the excitement of a trip to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, the chance…

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Object 9: Christmas cards

Upon receiving Christmas Cards as my object for the Museum of Childhood exhibition; I in all honesty was totally stumped. Such an object deserved a response which captured the warmth, fun and sweetness which Christmas Cards provide every year…I felt I had none of these literary attributes. The fact I had never written a sestude…

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Object 8: Christmas crackers

Having to hit the exact target of 26 words makes you weigh every syllable. That’s why I like writing this odd form. Sometimes it leads me to imagine characters and eavesdrop on a crucial moment in their conversation. This time it took me into the realm of poetry. I don’t have the luxury, or perhaps…

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Object 7: Christmas decorations: Tree ornaments

Miss Montgomery’s Final Bequest Unwrapping a box of Christmas decorations is rather like experiencing Christmas itself. The anticipation. The excitement at what will be revealed. The careful handling of precious yet familiar items, layered with memory, stuck together with Sellotape and string. Then the unveiling, that moment of magic. The hanging on the tree. Only…

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Object 6: Christmas decorations: Nativity scene

I would have preferred an object without a religious connection. Skipping ropes and roller skates were more familiar objects from my childhood. I researched the scene’s history – beginning as living tableaux staged by St Francis, before becoming a display piece for Italian churches and later homes. Strange to be thinking of Christmas at Midsummer.…

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Object 5: Christmas decorations: Angels

When I first saw the picture of these angels, I loved them immediately. There was something very 1960s about them – naïve and charming and yet slightly creepy. Sort of like Stepford Wives. They looked hand made, the kind of puppets that might just come to life or worse, the kind of puppets that were…

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Object 4: Christmas decorations: Lights

I was shamelessly unstructured in writing the sestude. I didn’t research, I didn’t dig anywhere other than the freewheeling realms of my surface-level subconscious. This is standard really; I wanted to see what would come up, and unsurprisingly, it was faeries. I started with a cluster diagram – an ugly spidery thing with words like…

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Object 3: Christmas presents: Sweets

I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth. So when I found about my objects – Christmas chocolates and other sugary treats – my first reaction was to laugh out loud. I followed that first reaction in trying to come up with my idea. I thought of over-indulgence and consumption. Eating too much, expressing love and…

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Object 2: Christmas presents: Board Games

Childhood is that magical period when a human mind first forms and begins to glimpse the mystery and majesty of the world that surrounds us. The tragedy of adulthood is that so many of us not only lose that sense of wonder, but forget how to rekindle it, forget that it even existed. The purpose…

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Object 1: Christmas presents: Annuals

Desperate Dan gets his skates on A friend told me that he used to love Christmas annuals because they were multi-functional. “At Christmas, you’d read the stories and do all the puzzles and quizzes,” he said. “Then in the Spring, we’d dig them out and use them as improvised skateboards.” “We used to balance an…

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