How is it only 5 days till Christmas already? Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, and I swear it goes quicker every year. Gah, getting old. Anyway, I was thrilled when my lovely friend Grace tagged me in this Christmas tag, because it combines my two favourite things: Christmas, and talking about myself.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
God, there are just so many good ones. Home Alone is, in my extremely professional opinion, the best film ever made (Christmas or otherwise)—so that’s gotta be pretty high up the list. Miracle on 34th Street is completely adorable. The Santa Clause is a classic. Really, I just love ’em all.
But there can only be one winner: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
For some reason, nobody ever watched this ’90s treat except for my family—but we bloody loved it. It stars Whoopi Goldberg as an evil Ice Queen, John Goodman as Father Christmas, and Eric Idle as an arctic fox with a New Jersey accent—what more could you want? My sister and I have seen it so many times that, not only can we quote it flawlessly, we can even imitate sound effects at each other and instantly be able to pinpoint the moment they occur in the film.
Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Always Christmas morning. Growing up, I was too scared to hang up my stocking in my bedroom because I didn’t like the idea of a strange man climbing into my room (very wise, Emma)—so we would open our presents sitting on either side of the fireplace downstairs. A few years ago, we created a new family tradition: climbing into my parents’ bed in the morning and opening presents while sipping champagne.
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Honestly, I have about a million. I loved the time my sister and I got snowed in at my cousins’ house on Christmas Eve and watched Home Alone while my parents fought through the storm to come and get us in time. I adored the Christmas my dad’s entire side of the family came to stay and we held a karaoke competition, which my Granny won. I smile every time I remember the first time my friend saw a reindeer and cried (at the age of 21, she’d genuinely believed reindeers were as fictional as unicorns). And I can never forget the first time my husband spent Christmas with my family, and wound up in my parents’ bedroom cupboard at 3am in his underwear—but that’s a story for another time.
Favourite festive food?
This year will be my first Christmas since I became a pescetarian, so I’m going to have to discover some new favourite foods to replace the pigs in blankets, stuffing, and delicious homemade sausage rolls that my mother’s made every year so far. Luckily, I have a huge soft spot for salmon blinis.
Favourite Christmas gift?
These days, my favourite gifts are books, books and more books—oh, and Kindle vouchers. Can’t beat ’em. I’m also amazingly lucky enough to have two mothers with amazing taste in clothes, so my wardrobe is pretty much entirely made up of the gorgeous clothes my mum and mother-in-law have bought me over the years. But probably the happiest I’ve ever been with a present was when my parents bought me a life size dog-and-puppy-curled-up-in-a-basket toy when I was about 5. I don’t even know where it is now, but I do remember saying “thank you” to my parents every day for about two years until my mum told me to stop.
Favourite Christmas scent?
Cinnamon! Cloves! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Ever since we were tiny (and still to this day), my mum reads my sister and I ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and as soon as the book finishes, we all race outside to scan the sky for Father Christmas. The stockings get hung each side of the fire, along with a glass of sherry and a mince pie. And then my sister and I sleep in the same room, so that we can play TV Initials—which, while we adore it, is the most boring game in the world, so I’m not even going to teach it to you.
What tops your tree?
Always the same angel, ever since I can remember. That’s the bottom of her dress in that photo—but that tree is just too damn tall to see.
(Oh, and the reason I’m turning away from the camera isn’t because I think I have a “good side”—it’s because if I face flash photography head on in that dress, you just get full-frontal nipples. Awks.)
As a kid what was the one (crazy wild extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
At the risk of sounding incredibly spoilt, I can’t think of anything—but I don’t think my sister and I ever particularly asked for extravagant gifts. We were both very happy using our imagination to play magical games with peg dolls (literally made from clothes pegs), or a dressing-up box filled with charity-shop gowns, so it was probably pretty easy for my parents to buy us the presents we wanted. And when we did get extravagant gifts, it was always a spectacular surprise: like the morning we woke up to find the Playmobil Fairy Tale Palace. Who says dreams don’t come true?
Well, that Christmas tag has got me feeling good and festive—so now it’s your turn. Anyone do feel free to join in! In particular, I’m going to tag:
Merry Christmas, everyone!