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  • Writer's pictureAditi

Grandma's Homemade Christmas Cake

It was a cold, foggy, frosty morning when Anita’s alarm woke her at seven. Her alarm always woke her at seven and had for many years. She hit the snooze button, longing to stay tucked under the warm blanket for a little more time. All at once, her mind started rushing through all the things she needed to get done that day.


‘I have to get the house organized,’ she thought with her eyes closed. ‘Water the plants… clean out the fridge…. change the bedcovers, or maybe… just maybe I should just sleep a little longer….’


‘Oh! The cake! I have to bake the Christmas cake!’ She suddenly thought; her eyes popped open as she jumped out of bed. ‘Tomorrow is Christmas! The kids are going to be here soon!’


It was Anita’s favorite time of the year - Christmas. She loved the holiday season for many reasons. It was when her entire family would get together and celebrate the Christmas joy. Being together under one roof was all Anita ever longed for. The family knew there would be many treats: a special Christmas cake, delicious cookies, and a lavish family dinner.


Anita found her better half, Ravi, in the kitchen, making coffee.


‘Care for a cuppa, my love?’ Ravi smiled lovingly.


‘Of course! Just what I need,’ Anita beamed. Sweetheart, I can’t believe today is Christmas Eve. How time flies.’


‘I know. I just finished adjusting the Christmas lights. Any news from the kids? What time are they arriving tonight?’ Ravi asked as he walked toward the dining table with two cups of coffee.


‘I’m not sure. I haven’t checked my phone yet,’ Anita replied. ‘Tina said she would arrive around ten at night with the grandkids. And I’m not sure what Victor has planned.’


‘I’ll call them later today to find out what their plans are,’ Ravi said distractedly as he flipped through the morning newspaper. ‘Anyway, I’m going for a walk after I finish my coffee. Do you want to come along?’


‘Oh, no. Remember, I have to bake the cake,’ Anita said excitedly, fluttering her soft eyes. ‘It’s the best part of Christmas. The cake! I’m going to start right away.’


‘Aah! Yes! The all-time favorite Christmas cake!’ Ravi chuckled. ‘I’m sure the house will be filled with a fragrance of freshly baked cake by the time I return.’


Soon, the house help arrived and got started with her chores. Anita was busy in the kitchen humming to herself as she took out all the ingredients for the cake. She lovingly mixed it all and soon placed the cake tray in the oven.


‘It already looks delicious,’ Anita beamed proudly.


A while later, Anita was busy decorating the house when Ravi walked in with some bad news.


‘The kids aren’t coming home this year for Christmas,’ he announced as he took his shoes off.


‘Whaaaat? Whyyyyy?’ Anita frowned.


‘I don’t know. They both are giving me weird excuses. Tina said the flight had been canceled. And Victor said the little one was not feeling well. So I don’t think they will be coming home tonight.’


‘Oh, that’s so depressing. This would be our first Christmas ever without them and the grandkids,’ Anita said dejectedly.


‘Well, I guess it’s just you and me,’ Ravi sighed.


Anita grunted. ‘There’s no point decorating anymore now, is there? I think I’m just going to take a nice hot bath.’


A while later, Anita stepped out of the bathroom and smelt something burning. Her heart sank. ‘The cake?!?’ she exclaimed and rushed towards the kitchen. ‘I thought I set the timer correctly.’


The so-called delicious cake was now a dark, black, burnt Christmas cake.


‘Ohhhh my God!’ Anita screeched at the top of her lungs as she took out the blackened, discolored cake. ‘All that hard work…. All these expensive ingredients! All gone to waste. Just great!’


‘What? What is it?’ Ravi asked, rushing through the balcony door.


‘Couldn’t you smell something burning?’ Anita frowned with her hands on her hips.


‘No…. I …. I was out on the balcony over the phone.’


‘Oh, you and your phone!’ Anita grumbled. ‘This is the worst day ever!’


‘Umm… Anita… there’s one more tiny thing….’ Ravi said slowly.


‘WHAT?’


‘The house help said she’s not coming tonight to cook dinner.’


‘Wow! Now, isn’t that something? Just to add the cherry on top!’


Ravi looked at Anita’s distressed, miserable face. He cautiously walked towards her and gently wrapped his frail arms around her weak shoulders.


‘It’s okay,’ he hushed, gently rubbing her back. ‘Everything is going to be okay.’


‘No, it’s not okay. Nothing is okay! Okay! I’m not feeling that happy Christmas feeling at all. I’m feeling so sad, angry, and pathetic! The house is half-decorated. The cake is burnt. The kids aren’t coming. I’m not going to be seeing our grandkids this year. The maid is taking the evening off. I mean, what could be worse?’


‘There… there… we’ll find a way to make things okay. Let’s take some deep breaths, shall we?’ Ravi suggested.


By late evening, Ravi entered their bedroom and found his wife tucked in bed with her nose buried in a book.


‘Hey…let’s get out of here!’ Ravi grinned his mischievous smile.


‘Go where? You want to take your sixty-nine-year-old wife out on a cold winter evening?’


Ravi shut his eyes, nodded, and sighed. ‘Well, you’ve been grumbling all day! And there’s no dinner cooked. So I thought we could go out and grab a bite. I mean, who else do you want me to take…. One of my girlfriends?’


Anita rolled her eyes. ‘You and your fantasy world!’


‘What? I know I still have that charm. If I didn’t see you at that party the first time we met fifty years ago, I don’t know how many women would have gotten lucky. But from the moment I saw you, I knew you had to be mine.’


A big, sweet smile appeared on Anita’s wrinkled face. ‘Okay… okay! Stop buttering me up. What do you want to eat?’


‘A masala dosa,’ Ravi grinned ear to ear.


‘Seriously?’ Anita replied with a straight face.


‘Well… it’s been so long since I’ve eaten one of those delicious, crispy dosas. I’m already drooling.’


‘You want to eat a masala dosa on Christmas Eve?’


Ravi giggled. ‘Well… you’ve been married to this weirdo for forty-six years, my love. I’m sure you’re used to me by now!’


‘Oh… I am!’


‘Great! I have just the place in mind.’


Soon, the old husband and wife sat opposite each other in the food court.


Ravi had a long, crispy masala dosa in front of him, and Anita had a Mexican chicken rice bowl.


‘You know it’s funny how we are so different, yet we get along so well,’ Anita smiled as she took a bite of her food.


Ravi grunted as he jabbed a bite of dosa and a spoonful of sambar in his mouth. ‘Well, we are still two weirdos sticking together.’


‘You know… It’s still not sunk in that the kids aren’t going to be with us this year,’ Anita said slowly.


‘It’s okay. I’ll make it up to you. After this, let’s buy a Christmas cake.’


Anita blinked a few times and let out a long sigh. ‘I’ve never bought a Christmas cake before. I’ve always baked one.’


‘I know…. I know how much you love to bake. But it’ll make a change.’

After finishing their meal, they emptied their trays into the trash and headed out of the food court.

The festive spirit was in the air as they walked into the bakery. The aroma of freshly baked goods filled their senses. Anita's eyes lit up as she saw the array of beautifully decorated cakes, each more tempting than the last.

She carefully selected a small cake with white frosting and festive decorations. As they left the bakery, she couldn't help but feel a renewed sense of excitement for Christmas.

Back home, they placed the new cake on the dining table beside the burnt one. Ravi looked at Anita and said, ‘See? We’re all set!’

Anita smiled and nodded in agreement. ‘Just a wee bit of decoration is left.’

They spent the rest of the evening finishing the decorating and listening to the King of Rock n Roll. The house was filled with warmth and love despite the absence of their children and grandchildren.

After they finished, the two sat in the living room near the Christmas tree. They snuggled close, interlocking their old, frail, wrinkled fingers together. They spoke about their happy times, their ups and downs, their firstborn child, Victor, and their second-born child, Tina. They felt blessed to be grandparents.

They took a road down memory lane, giggling and laughing over their trips to exciting places, their wild trekking adventures, their fun times snorkeling, and their crazy cycling tours. They even revisited some of their hard and scary times: the time Victor fell over a cliff and was unconscious for two days … the time Tina miscarried in their bathroom.

They both sighed, allowing that moment of gratitude to seep in and decided to call it a night.

The following early morning, the doorbell rang.


‘Who could that be?’ Anita wondered as she got up and slowly placed her swollen feet on the floor. The clock showed half past six.


The doorbell rang again. Repeatedly.


‘I’m coming…. I’m coming….’ Anita announced as she headed towards the door.


‘SURPRISE!!’ The family sang in unison.


‘Ravi, wake up! Come and see who’s at the door,’ Anita said as she couldn’t believe her eyes.


‘It’s Tina and Victor. And all our grandchildren!’


‘What are you guys doing here? I thought you weren’t coming,’ Ravi smiled a sleepy smile.


‘We wanted to give you a surprise,’ Tina said excitedly.


‘Nani…. Have you baked the Christmas Cake?’ Asked one of the grandchildren.


Anita and Ravi exchanged looks and blinked a few times. ‘Umm…the one we have is too small.’


‘Let’s bake one together,’ Anita smiled.


‘That sounds like a wonderful idea,’ Ravi agreed.


Soon, they all gathered in the kitchen while Anita pulled out the ingredients once again. The kids eagerly helped their Nani measure the flour and crack the eggs. They all took turns mixing the batter and pouring it into the cake tray. As they waited for the cake to bake, everyone gathered around the table, reminiscing and sharing stories. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and joy as the aroma of the cake filled the air. Finally, the timer went off, and Anita pulled the cake out of the oven. It was a perfect golden brown.


Ravi looked at the cake and smiled. ‘Nothing can beat Grandma’s homemade Christmas cake!’


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10 Comments


Ankit Gupta
Ankit Gupta
Dec 26, 2023

Every family should be like Grandma's cake; happiness flavoured with smile and affection, relationships baked with understanding and perfection, nonetheless, thoughts should be as delicious as it tastes.

Well done buddy ♥️ your stories are consistently attractive.

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Aditi
Aditi
Dec 26, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much 🤩🤩🤩

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There is love. There is cake. There is family and festivity. And there are words weaving all these together so carefully, so lovingly.

Beautiful story♥️

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Aditi
Aditi
Dec 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much!!!! 🤩🤩🤩❤️❤️❤️

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Suvarna Evelyn
Suvarna Evelyn
Dec 18, 2023

Family gatherings and cakes are always fun and the best. Good story for an awesome season ❤️

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Aditi
Aditi
Dec 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much ❤️🤩

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Radhika Singhal
Radhika Singhal
Dec 17, 2023

Heartwarming story! Lovely family ^_^

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Aditi
Aditi
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much ❤️

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monishka aggarwal
monishka aggarwal
Dec 17, 2023

Always a treat to read your stories😍

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Aditi
Aditi
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much 🤗🤗

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