Christmas is such a beautiful time of year and luckily I’ve always had lovely, family orientated Christmasses. It’s a fantastic time of year to create a whole host of gorgeous memories and I thought I’d talk about some of my favourites today.
Ahhh I get a huge smile just thinking about this!! One year my poor mum and dad spent hours on Christmas Eve trying to put two children’s bikes together for my brother and I so when we came down into the lounge on Christmas morning there were bundles of presents and two bikes sitting in the room! My brother and I were SO excited, so much so we made our family go to the train station car park so we could cycle around and around and around! Luckily the car park was deserted as it was Christmas day and we had so much fun doing laps around the concrete. Definitely one of the best days of my childhood!
My parents totally got on board with us believing in Santa. We’d put the obligatory mince pies, milk and carrots out for him and when we’d come down in the morning there would be a few crumbs, the ends of the carrot and a few drops of milk left! It was SO magical. But, what made it even more magical was our fireplace. They’d leave a few small presents in the fireplace as if to suggest Santa had dropped them out of his sack on the way back up the chimney and they’d create sooty footprints to make it look like Santa really had been! Argh it was amazing. If I ever have children I hope I can make Christmas as magical for them!
Presents on the doorstep
My granddad was a huge legend too! He’d always come around on Christmas morning and before my brother and I realised that Santa wasn’t quite real, he’d pretend Santa had left some presents on the front door step. In reality they were the presents from my granddad, but it made us so excited to think we’d missed some presents from Santa! Aww man, Christmas is so magical when you’re a kid.
I have some lovely guests joining me today to talk about some of their Christmas memories! Blogger Laura along with authors Victoria Walters and Dot Gumbi!
1. What is your most favourite Christmas memory?
Laura: Oooh, theres far too many to single one out! I just love everything to do with Christmas – but seeing smiles on my nieces faces are priceless memories.
Vicky: I am a big Christmas fan and my favourite memories are spending the day with my family. Especially when my mum cooks Christmas dinner as it’s so delicious and after dinner, we all open our presents and then play games in the evening. It’s always a pretty traditional day and lots of fun. Last year was a great Christmas as it was my cat Harry’s first Christmas with us and he had a ball “helping” me decorate the tree! Plus I made the family buy silly festive jumpers and it was an extra big celebration for me as something else had happened just before the big day (see number three!!!) …
Dot: Sadly they all kind of blur, the earlier ones through excitement, the later ones through alcohol. 1995 was a good one though (see below)
2. Is there a song, a film or maybe even a book that makes you feel all nostalgic each year?
Laura: No, but I do have to watch the Grinch every year. As long as there are tress, presents, snow and a romantic element to make my eyes water, I’m happy!
Vicky: My favourite Christmas song is Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and that always gets me in the festive mood! I also watch the same festive films each year in the run up to the big day like Elf, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Muppet Christmas Carol and I love the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, that always makes me feel all Christmassy!
Dot: My wife is a film buff – last year we had a sort of film advent calendar watching a different movie each day. My wife brought more ‘traditional’ choices like Muppets Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and Meet me in St. Louis. I brought Home Alone, Scrooged and Die Hard to the table. I don’t think there is a more festive family film than Die Hard, is there? Ho-Ho-Ho.
3. What was the best Christmas present you ever recieved?
Laura: One of the magic mugs that looks black and boring until you fill with hot water and then it reveals a photo or montage – I have one for all my nieces!
Vicky: I have to say that last Christmas I had my best ever present – I signed my first book deal!!! I found out that Headline wanted to publish my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life just before the big day so it was an extra special Christmas celebration for me!!
Dot: If I can be mushy, it was waking up next to my girlfriend (now wife) on Christmas day last year. That made me about as happy as I could be. If that’s too vomit inducing, the best gift I ever got was Lynx Africa shower gel when I was twelve. Prior to that, the family only had soap. To have my own shower gel, boy did I feel grown up. It’s only now I think perhaps my parents were dropping a hint.
4. If you could relive just one Christmas, which one would it be?
Laura: Umm…. Probably Christmas 2002 as it was the last Christmas that was normal as I’d known if growing up, My Dad passed away October 2003 so its never been the same since,
Vicky: I was chatting to my mum about this as I wasn’t sure of the answer to be honest as my Christmas Day’s are always full of family and fun but we remembered a Christmas spent in a hotel in Brighton when my dad was still with us (he passed away when I was nine) and my memories of that time are hazy so it would be wonderful to go back and relive that one.
Dot: 1996. I remember that Christmas well because I was living in a kitchen. I should explain, my parents had moved house and I didn’t have a bedroom yet (the loft was still being converted into a bedroom) so I spent six months living in a kitchen with my bed and wardrobes in there. It was nice having my mum cook Christmas dinner in what was effectively my bedroom. I could lay on my bed listening to music whilst the smell of turkey drifted over.
That Christmas was particularly special. I had a paper round at the time, and I remember getting up at 5am on Christmas Eve and rolling my trolley round the frosted streets before the world had woken up, dropping off presents like Santa. Only my present was the free local rag, which probably went straight in the bin. But still the thought was there. After I’d finished at 8am I went home and combed the Radio Times as if it were the Racing Post, trying to work out what films were on when. Barry Norman did a cracking film guide in the Christmas Radio Times, and it normally meant there were tons of decent films on, with loads I’d never seen.
5. What does the perfect Christmas day look like to you?
Laura: I love all the magic around Christmas with kids believing and getting excited – spending time with them and loved ones is what its all about so it we could just wake up to a layer of thick snow that would be pretty perfect!
Vicky: Christmas Day is always spent with family. I remember when I was growing up being so annoyed they made me wait until after Christmas dinner to open all my presents!! That’s generally the way we do it – after we’ve gorged on turkey and all the trimmings – and then we usually play a big card game. I was so excited to win for one year as I always lose! I always eat A LOT on the day and have a few glasses of fizz too. I think our day is pretty traditional and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
Dot: Everyone happy, healthy and together. And wearing crazy Christmas jumpers.
6. Which Christmas song do you have on repeat throughout the festive period?
Laura: All of them. On loop. Starting as I’m typing this and its only early November- other half isn’t impressed mwahahah!
Vicky: I love Christmas songs!!! I have a Spotify playlist actually with all my favourites (listen here) I always buy a new festive album each year, I need to choose this year’s actually ….
Dot: ‘I believe in Father Christmas’ by Greg Lake is the one I’ll play most. ‘Simply having a wonderful Christmas time’ by McCartney also gets played a lot. The one I hate is that one by the Darkness. It drives me mad. I’ll also drive my wife mad by following her around with my guitar playing a carol I wrote, claiming it will be number one next year. I’ve been saying that for three years.
7. Lastly, Christmas cake or mince pies?!
Laura: Mince Pies – Marzipan is just vile!
Vicky: Mince pies!!!!! I’ve already gone through a pack this year oops 🙂
Dot: Neither! I never liked either as a kid, and now I don’t drink I avoid even sniffing the Christmas pudding in case it knocks me over. A bowl of trifle will do me fine, so long as I’m wearing a paper crown. Everything tastes better when you’ve got your paper crown on, dochyathink?
Thank you so much guys! Christmas is such a emotion rife time – I hope you all have a lovely Christmas this year. You can find Laura over on her blog and on Twitter! Victoria’s debut novel is out in the new year (I’m so excited!!) – you can find her over on Twitter too. Dot is over on Twitter as well and you can find his books here!