My fondest memories of home during my childhood are of Christmas time. Christmas began early in our house. It began really with baking the Christmas cake. My mother would get a store of currants, raisins, candied peel, nutmeg and other spices, and the day of baking the cake was a big day. We gathered round the table as she mixed the ingredients, and there was a lovely aroma. When the cake went into the oven we all had to be really quiet, because we understood that if we made any noise, the cake would fall. It was very exciting, seeing the cake come out of the oven – and there was that gorgeous smell.
from The Road Home by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy.