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The Christmas Gift - Monica McInerney
eBook Published: 29th November 2013
ISBN: 9781743484661
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In Australia, Rosie is preparing for a family Christmas like no other. Across the world in Dublin, another family's holiday plans are about to go in an unexpected direction.

Filled with Monica McInerney's trademark warmth, heart and humour, these two beautiful new short stories will delight readers this Christmas.

Enjoy this perfect little gift from one of Australia's best-loved authors.

When it came down to it, getting ready for Christmas was all about lists, Rosie realised. It should be called Listmas. Lists of presents to buy. Lists of food to serve. Lists of guests. List after list after list. She hated lists.

She was an only child and had been used to quiet Christmas Days with her parents. In the first year after she married Dan, it was a shock to find herself in the middle of his very different family celebrations. He was one of eight, and his brothers and sisters took turns hosting the entire family. Rosie remembered him first telling her about it, and her own shocked reply. 'I'll have to cook for thirty-six people?' She had squeaked the words. She'd also had an immediate mental image of a flock of turkeys lining up to be part of the Kellys' family lunch.

'Not you. Us. And we won't have to do it all ourselves,' Dan had laughed. 'We'll just be the hosts. Or the Controllers, as we call it. Everyone in the family pitches in. And don't worry – it won't be our turn for seven years.'

There was plenty to keep them busy in the meantime. She and Dan bought their own home, in an outer suburb of Melbourne, not far from where they'd both grown up and where their families still lived. She turned thirty. A year later, exactly two years and two days after their wedding day, she and Dan received the best present of all – their daughter, Amy, born on the last day of July. She was guest of honour at that year's Kelly Christmas. The youngest member of the family always got to wear the hand-knitted Santa hat, and be the one to turn on the switch that lit up the enormous Christmas tree in the host's front room (with the help of a parent, of course). The Kellys were a great family for Christmas traditions.

Rosie had been warned that motherhood could be difficult, challenging, exhausting. But no one seemed to have told her that it would also be great fun, every day. She and Dan had laughed a lot when it was just the two of them. They laughed even more now. Amy's big, lopsided smile, her dancing eyes, the sheer joy of her lit up their lives. She was early to walk and talk. She turned one, two, three, four, and stayed sunny-natured, always ready for fun, quick to laugh. Everyone remarked on her sense of humour. 'She's special, that one,' Rosie's parents and the Kelly family agreed. Rosie didn't need to be told.

Amy started school the same year it was finally Rosie and Dan's turn to host the Kelly Christmas. As the months went by, Rosie felt her anxiety rising. How was she going to juggle being the mother of a lively five-year-old and being the Kelly Christmas Controller? Lists, she decided. She bought a notebook, wrote Christmas on the cover and started writing down recipe ideas, cooking tips, seating arrangements. Dan tried to ease her worries, telling her that all they had to do as hosts was tell everyone else in his family what to do, and then they'd do it. His brothers and sisters loved the doing. They just hated the organising.

By the time October came, Rosie felt the same way. She'd somehow filled fifty pages of her notebook already. Dan tried to help, but he worked full-time while she was at home. It made sense for her to do most of it. He saw her notebook one night and laughed. 'Are you planning a lunch or invading Europe?' She hadn't found it funny. Not until later, anyway.

But none of that mattered any more. Not since two forty-five p.m. on October 12, when everything changed.

ISBN: 9781743484661
ISBN-10: 1743484666
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 12
Published: 29th November 2013
Edition Type: Digital original

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