But when the special Christmas Angel ornament goes missing, will Greygran’s determination to find it lead to disaster?
Or will Hayley be witness to a true Christmas miracle?
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Christmas was Hayley’s favourite time of the year.
The tree was up in the corner of the lounge room, and it wasn’t one of those fake ones her friends had. Theirs was a real fir tree, growing in its own pot, which Dad would take out to Greygran’s place in January and plant near the ones they’d had the year before and the year before that and way back before Hayley could remember. There was a whole forest of them behind Greygran’s house now. Hayley had helped Dad plant last year’s tree, and watched it grow through the year.
Then in October Mum and Dad had cleared out the third bedroom, which had become a bit of a junk room, and painted the walls a cheery blue. For a few hours Hayley thought she was getting a new brother or sister, but Mum laughed.
‘No, one of you is enough,’ she said, ruffling Hayley’s hair. ‘Greygran is coming to live with us. She’s very old, and it’s hard for her to walk, and sometimes she forgets things. So we’re going to look after her.’
Hayley nodded seriously. She could do that. Greygran had looked after her when she was younger and Mum had to work. She could do the same now.
So every day after school Hayley took her homework in to do with Greygran, while Greygran sat in her comfy recliner and knitted. And when Hayley was finished, Greygran told her stories of what it was like when she was a girl, when she had to walk miles into town to school – the farms she’d walked past back then were all houses now – and how they grew vegetables in the back yard and how everyone used to know everyone and kids could play all day and go anywhere and still be safe. And silly stories about the first cars in the town and how they broke down all the time, and dances she’d been to – she met Great-Grandad at one of them – and how all the kids learned to swim in the river and heaps more stuff that Hayley would never be allowed to do.
But every so often Greygran would stop talking and sit and stare into space, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, and she would forget what she’d been saying or doing.
Twice she even forgot who Hayley was, and called her Sarah, which made Hayley feel really odd.
Because Sarah was Greygran’s daughter’s name, Hayley’s Grandma. And Grandma had died almost five years ago.