Christmas: Cassette Tapes, Storytime and My Grandmother


When I was really small, my family lived in Victoria, my parents and me, and my older brother.

My grandparents lived in Sydney, and because we lived so far away, they didn’t see us much at that age. My grandmother, being the creative person that she was, used to write stories for my brother and I, and my cousin too, who lived way out on a farm. She would then record them on a cassette and send them to us in the mail.

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She wrote us stories about our cat Ben, about animals and princesses who lived in the bush. I don’t remember what happened in all of them now, but I remember listening to them and how hearing her voice made me feel. My grandmother was a beautiful woman, small and stylish, and the warmest and most kind person I think I’ve ever known. She had a sweet, kind voice and a real talent for writing, and I felt safe and happy listening to the tapes.

I loved that she had taken the time to write them for us, and that she somehow knew just the kinds of things that we would love to hear about. I felt so special that I had a story written just for me, and on tape too! I even liked listening to them when I was a few years older and she lived nearby.

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But now, I’m grown up. My grandmother has gone, but her voice is still with me, in the choices I make and how I approach life. I learned a great deal from her.

And now, my brother has a little boy. This Christmas, even though he’s in Australia and I’m in London, I’m making him a recording of his very own. This time, it’s not a story I’ve written myself, but maybe next time it will be. It’s MP3’s online rather than cassette tapes by post, but the important thing is that it’s so nice to do be doing something that my grandmother did for us, to pass on that happy, warm feeling. It’s made me think of her a lot, and how wonderful it was to know her, how magical it was to be a child, and to connect some old traditions with new additions to the family.

What traditions make you feel close to your family? Join me for more by commenting below, subscribing, or finding me on Twitter @CravenWild or on Instagram @HermioneFlavia


11 thoughts on “Christmas: Cassette Tapes, Storytime and My Grandmother

  1. That is a beautiful tradition and a touching story!! I don’t really have a tradition with my family but every 24th of December, I go Christmas shopping with my dad and we always have lunch together at the same restaurant, each year the same thing, same restaurant!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post Hermoine, I’m sure your nephew will enjoy his tape. I was very lucky my Grandfather lived down the street from us. I always looked forward to seeing him walk up the driveway on Christmas Day. My father’s mother would be picked up by my Dad. I looked forward to that too. They were wonderful grandparents to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christmas in my family is full of traditions–pretty much every single thing about the season, from the exact Julie Andrews song that gets played first when we decorate the tree to generations-old recipes to getting a new ornament each year to represent something we did. Too many to list! Thanks for sharing your tradition and that’s so sweet you’re continuing it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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