Crackers at Christmas
The Festive Trials of a Yorkshire Housewife
- Hazel Wheeler
15th November 2010
Welcome to Christmas, a.k.a. Hell. For Huddersfield housewife Hazel Wheeler, whose popular diaries span the second half of the twentieth century, Christmas is not just a time for goodwill, mistletoe and bulging stockings. Santa, in his munificence, also brings with him a sleighful of suffering and breakdown. Amberley Publishing has collected Hazel's diaries, journalism and stories before, in Living on Tick and The Diary of a Young Wife, but it's in this Christmas anthology - selected by Hazel herself before her death in late 2009 - that family tensions reach their limit, and juggling her duties as a housewife, mother and good neighbour with her writing ambitions becomes an impossible problem. Dating from 1949 (when Hazel first met her future husband) to 1996 (when she made an important decision about the meaning of Christmas), this new collection lays bare the true horror of the 'jolly season'.