As read on Radio 4, seven linked stories set in the Christmas holidays - all as funny, joyous, poignant and memorable as Christmas should be:A Faraway Smell of Lemon: The School Term has ended. It is almost Christmas but Binny, out last-minute shopping couldn't feel less like wishing glad tidings to all men. Ducking out of the rain she finds herself in the sort of shop she would never normally visit.The Marriage Manual: Christmas Eve. Two parents endeavour to construct their son's Christmas present from a DIY kit and in the process find themselves deconstructing their marriage.Christmas at the Airport: A glitch in the system, travellers stranded and all sorts of lives colliding in the face of a sudden birth...The Boxing Day Ball: Maureen has never been out with the local girls before. Who knew that a disco in the Village Hall could be life-changing?A Snow Garden: Two little boys, dumped with their divorced father for his share of the Christmas holidays and none of them with a clue how to enjoy it. I'll Be Home for Christmas The most famous boy in the world comes home hoping to escape the madness with a normal family Christmas.Trees: As if Christmas wasn't wearing enough, now his elderly parent is asking for a hole in the ground . Father and son break old habits and plant a tree to mark the start of the new year.
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by Rachel Joyce
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