12 Days of Christmas – Sally Rippin

Welcome to 2013 and this the 7th day of these 12 Days of Christmas.

Today we have my wonderful friend (I am very privileged to have so many wonderful creative friends) Sally Rippin and she has a beautiful reflection of family time at Christmas and Christmas concerts with tinsel dressed angels.   


Sally Rippin Christmas angel

I have always loved Christmas, but then again I really like hanging out with family, which I know isn’t the case for everyone. During much of my childhood, we were often living overseas, away from our extended family, so our Christmases tended to be just us, along with a few neighbours or other family-less strays my mother always managed to rustle up. My mother, having once been a television actress, was big into performing, so every Christmas Eve she would wrap my sisters and I up in tinsel and make us put on some kind of concert to entertain the adults; a nativity or some dreadful piano recital that would have our guests snorting punch out of their noses in laughter. I never minded these concerts much, being a bit of a show-pony myself as a child, but it must have been excruciating for my younger sister who was painfully shy. After that, our job was essentially to hand around the canapés and cocktails in our angel costumes as the adults became more and more debauched as the night progressed. I loved my mother’s parties; my mother and her friends always seemed so glamorous and flamboyant. I even loved watching her preparing for them, teasing her hair and powdering her cleavage in glitter. I thought she was beautiful. (She still is. And she still rocks a pair of leopard skin pants at 65.)

More recently, as an adult, my family has grown to include my partner’s big Italian family. Christmases with Raf’s family are a wonderfully noisy gathering of several generations of Italian-Australians from old nonnas huffing about in the kitchen to over-dressed kids with fistfuls of chocolates, running amok. On Christmas Eve, children stay up til past midnight, and the boisterous gathering only starts to disperse after the older generation have all shuffled off to Mass.

Christmases for me are usually noisy, and packed with family and food, but last Christmas my partner and I decided to do something a little different. Most of my family was away, including my two eldest sons, so we decided this time to spend Christmas with our youngest in a tent on the beach. Instead of turkey and pudding we had cheese and crackers and instead of carols and concerts we had a sky-full of stars. And instead of piles of Christmas wrapping and unwanted presents, we swam in the ocean and lay on the sand and felt like the luckiest family alive.


Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, Australia, but grew up in South-East Asia. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has published over 50 books for children including the popular Billie B Brown series and the highly acclaimed children’s novel Angel Creek. She loves Christmas pudding, but turkey makes her sleepy, especially on a 35 degree day. One year she would like to experience a White Christmas and drink egg-nog and mulled wine in front of a fire.

Do drop in to Sally’s website and see all her wonderful titles and you mgiht also find out much more about this creator who once dressed as a Christmas Angel!


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