In partnership with Pandora
As the festive season draws near, it provides the long-awaited opportunity to hold our loved ones close and never let go. After months of separation and closed borders, we're leaning into the sense of togetherness Christmas inspires. This sentiment is mirrored by Aftershocks author Nadia Owusu. While we prepare by wrapping gifts and trialling baking recipes, Nadia has ushered in the season in her own way.
With the help of Pandora, Nadia Owusu is stoking our excitement for the Holidays with a collection of original short stories that sketch Christmas moments both universal and unique. Find love letters to drawstring pants and the flurry of kitchens, recollections of that one family member who will go to any lengths to inflate the Christmas spirit, to the untarnished joy of children - all this and much more is touched on as Nadia narrates her stories. Each vignette united by the thread of love, tenderness and intimacy.
In the spirit of Christmas and the Pandora For Every Story campaign, we caught up with Nadia Owusu to discuss her Christmas rituals and the inspiration behind her words. Find her thoughtful and evocative responses below.
What will Christmas look like for you this year?
I have family all over the world, and I’m hoping to see as many of my loved ones as possible, so I might be celebrating for a whole month or more! I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I know that there will be lots of food. When my siblings and I get together, we stay up late, eating leftovers and talking. I love those special moments that remind me of childhood.
After spending long periods without our loved ones, what is the first thing you’ll do when you’re reunited come Christmas time?
Turn off my phone. There is so much to catch up on and I want to be fully present.
Christmas isn’t complete without...
Cozy pyjamas for after overindulging.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
My family does a book exchange every Christmas. Each of us brings a book that we loved reading over the last year, and we talk about what was special about it. Then, we all choose a new book from the pile.
Christmas smells like...
Rosemary, cinnamon, and red wine.
What will you be reading in the lead up to Christmas? How will you be getting into the festive spirit?
I’m teaching at a writing residency in early January, so I’ll be reading my students’ manuscripts. It’s always exciting to discover their work. As the weather gets colder, I love to light scented candles around when I’m reading. Scents like pine and nutmeg usher in the festive season.
Christmas sounds like...
The soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I love that record and listen to it on repeat on Christmas morning.
What was the inspiration behind the stories you penned for Pandora? Were there any universal themes that stood out to you while writing?
There is such anticipation and excitement around this holiday season after so many of us missed out on our favourite moments last year. That’s what I wanted to capture in the stories I wrote for Pandora. It was really fun to reminisce about my own favourite memories which served as inspiration. Pandora wants people everywhere to cherish every moment as we reunite. Stories have such an incredible power to connect us and stir personal memories, so I loved writing these stories for Pandora to help everyone get into the festive spirit.
What piece from the Pandora Moments collection are you hoping to receive this Christmas and why?
I really love the Pandora Galaxy Blue & Star Murano Charm. It reminds me of gazing up at a beautiful star-filled sky, evoking a sense of wonder and possibility.
The book I would give as a gift is...
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. It’s one of my favourite books, and I’m always picking up copies at used bookstores to give away.
Do you have any advice for people to take into the festive season?
Just to cherish this time with loved ones. Everything else can wait.
We suggest you curl up with your favourite Christmas-inspired treat or scent and settle in to hear Nadia take us through the holiday moments that she holds dear.