12 Days of Christmas – Claire Saxby

Welcome to the 6th day of these 12 Days of Christmas and today’s wonderful creator is the delightful Claire Saxby from Melbourne in Victoria.

Claire (who lives 5 minutes from the sea) has a glorious reflection of alternate Christmas activities – feating with relatives and gathering by the beach. Very Australian!


Claire Saxby

When I was 18 months old, my older brother was three years old, my younger brother was four months old and Mum was pregnant with Baby Four, my family moved from Melbourne to Newcastle. Dad drove the car, and Mum, morning sickness and all, had the supposedly easier trip in a plane. Hmm.

Our Christmases for the next 8-9 years fell into a pattern. Every alternate Christmas we drove to Melbourne to spend with grandparents and family. We had a Holden station wagon then and with the back seat laid down, we’d snuggle down to sleep, covered with Nana-crochet rugs. Well, eventually. First there was resistance, then jockeying for space, then finally we’d drift off. Mum and Dad would drive through the night, taking turns at the wheel. Melbourne Christmases were wild and frantic and fabulous as we visited all the relatives and reconnected with cousins and friends. Every day was a madness of lunch and dinner with a different group who commented on our growth etc and asked the same questions until we could escape with the kids.

Every other Christmas, we’d head to the beach somewhere. It didn’t really matter where. Mum and Dad would find a cabin somewhere within walking or hot-sand-hopping of the water. There were afternoon naps, and beach walks and swimming, swimming, swimming. We’d play cards at night, and collect pippies by day, fish bait you see. We hardly ever fished, but we loved collecting those pippies. We’d drive into town for provisions, but mostly just stayed put: up early each morning and on the beach on and off all day. Towels on the balcony, thongs at the door, sand everywhere.

Both sorts of Christmases conjure happy memories, despite being so different in pace. From a parent’s perspective I can understand why they decided to alternate celebrations, but as a child, I just considered that I had the best of both worlds.

a young Claire Saxby


Claire loves Christmas, although she wishes to make it known that there are eleven other months in the year and she’s happy to catch up with friends and family during any of them! She writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry about all sorts of things, but the sea does get more than the odd mention.

As well as writing wonderful books Claire is the Assistant Regional Support for the Victoria/SouthAustralia/Tasmania chapter of SCBWI.

Do drop in to Claire’s website and check out the wonderful array of information there.

… and of course this is the final day for 2012 but there are still more days to come, so see you next year!


2 Responses to 12 Days of Christmas – Claire Saxby

  1. What a wonderful series! A true Australian Christmas celebration. I can ‘see’ where the sea influence has begun in your books! Thanks for sharing Chris and Claire.

    Lorraine Marwood January 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm Reply
  2. Lovely story of childhood from one of my favorite writers.

    Mark Wilson December 15, 2015 at 9:35 am Reply

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