|Once Upon A Christmas
1996, Toyah contributed a thoughtful recollection
of childhood Christmasses to the charity
publication 'Once Upon A Christmas'. This book is
now out of print.
In this delightful Christmas book, a host of our
most popular and well-known celebrities from all
walks of life have contributed stories, memories,
recipes and thoughts about Christmas to make this
the most irresistible festive anthology there
is... Once Upon A Christmas will help to put -
and keep - you in the Christmas spirit.
Toyah Willcox: Broadcaster and Singer
Childhood Christmasses were the most magical.
It was the appearance of the Christmas tree that
cued two weeks of sheer all-encompassing joy. I'm
talking about being four years old. Just able to
talk but unable to comprehend the hidden meanings
of the words of wisdom from the giants, the
family home, although modest, was a castle to me
and everything in it was rare and precious. But
the Christmas tree was proof that Narnia,
fairies, hobgoblins and fauns truly did exist.
For the tree miraculously appeared overnight and
it shed such light and a divine perfume. Being
small, I could sit under it all evening with the
glass baubles dangling in my face.
was a time that my brother was nice to me.
Fighting was not on the agenda, only receiving.
Oh, it was perfect. I was too young to do any
washing-up, too small to hoover, too innocent to
be blamed when icing was picked off the uncut
Christmas cake. In later years my teeth marks
gave me away and punishment followed.
In retrospect my parents were miracle-workers. I
totally believed in the existence of Father
Christmas until an embarrassingly late age. But
back then, at two in the morning, my brother
would wake me to say Father Christmas had been
because there were stockings on our beds, and
we'd snuggle up under the blankets with torches,
sworn enemies calling a truce on Christmas Day
and eat all the chocolate in our heavily laden
stockings. I'd boast that I'd heard Father
Christmas on the stairs and he'd pooh-pooh the
very thought, being five years older than me.
morning Mum and Dad would play Hard to Wake Up.
We'd take them tea and biscuits in bed, made by
my sister Nicola because she was eight years
older and could reach the kettle. Then they'd
slowly amble downstairs to the door of the lounge
which had been locked by Father Christmas and
wouldn't be unlocked until he knew we'd been good
children. This drove me into a frenzy, because I
didn't fully understand the concept of good and
if this man could come all the way from Lapland
and deliver our presents in one night surely he
must be like God and know whether we'd been good
or not. This was my first experience of guilt!
Shazam! The door would be ceremoniously opened by
my father, and my brother and sister and myself
would dive into what seemed a sea of treasures.
My parents were unforgettably generous. There'd
be a blackboard on an easel, a tricycle, Rupert
Bear annuals, punch balls (I was determined
to beat my brother in our many fracas), cowboy
outfits, Etcha-Sketch, Blue Peter
annuals - the list is endless.
Magic does exist and it's invariably performed by
those people who keep their children innocent of
their hard work, parents!
Christmas, to me, is a place where I wish time
itself would stand still and embrace us all, for
ever, in that feeling of love, security and
Upon A Christmas
(Thanks to Paul Lomas)