Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Creating vintage memories

They can't have come out that many times in the 18 years I lived at home - 18 at most it is fair to assume - but my family's Christmas cake decorations hold a special place in my heart. They are the plastic tress and reindeer and huskies and robins familiar to many of us 1970s or 1980s children.

The Christmas just gone, my mum and I invented a new tradition. She made two Christmas cakes and covered them with marzipan and my daughter and I turned up for the fun bit - to decorate them. And in a supreme act of generosity my mum went for a minimalist snowflake and penguin look and I was allowed to borrow the family decorations. Modern day snowflakes, Santa and penguins - check. Huskies - check. Reindeer - check. Trees - check. Robin - check. Metallic edible balls - check.

I hope we can repeat this every year - the three generations of us enjoying a flurry or royal icing and cheeky licks of the palette knife - but next year I won't need to borrow the decorations. I have found a wonderful website selling vintage style decorations and have just put in my order for reindeer, trees and holly.

There is something a bit silly about buying new decorations to look old. I wonder whether my daughter should be allowed to have the chubbier faced santas and cartoony model penguins that are popular in the shops now in order to create her own memories of a 21st century Christmas cake, rather than be forced to replicate my memories as her own. But any concerns I have about this disappear quickly when I think of the wonderful magical Christmas forest complete with herd of reindeer that I intend to create next year. And if she's very good then when I am making the cakes and she and her children come over to decorate them, she may just be allowed to borrow them herself.

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