A woman from Kent, England, intends to redefine the meaning of a cremated Christmas dinner this year as she plans to serve her mother's ashes with her festive meal.
Debra Parsons, from Folkestone, will set a place for her mother at the table to ensure she is properly remembered as her guests eat their specially seasoned fare, according to the Daily Mirror.
A few months after her funeral, Parsons received her ashes, and one day decided to eat them. She now likes to have a taste of them most days.
"I don't know what made me do it the first time – it was just an urge. I can't describe it.
"I opened the box and licked my fingers and just dipped them into the powder. Before I knew what I was doing they were in my mouth and the chalky, salty taste was comforting.
"I felt confused by what I had done to begin with but the feeling of comfort and closeness it brought was the first bit of solace I'd had since her death."
Parsons' mum, Doreen, died from a chest infection in May.
With the ashes being used as an accompaniment to both the turkey and the Christmas pudding, Parsons' mum may well be encouraging people to eat their greens once more this Christmas.
And perhaps in future, with a British council considering using "water cremation" to deal with human remains, Parsons can wash down her mum with a refreshing glass of another relative. ®
While not a common practice in western society, endocannibalism (the practice of eating ones relatives after death) has been conducted by small communities around the world through history. Parsons would surely find friends in the Yanomami tribe of the Amazon rainforest, who also eat the ashes of their deceased as the final step of mourning. As for the tribe's opinions on using ashes as a Christmas condiment, no explorer or scholar has thought to ask.