Christmas is nearly here and I am looking forward to a gentle and peaceful one this year because that’s my kind of Christmas mixed with a few frolics of course.
To get myself in the festive spirit, I am taking up the lovely Christmas tag and thank Claire from The Pramshed blog for thinking of me. My first Christmas was spent in a children’s home of the convent variety so here is my first Christmas picture as far as I know just after my adoptive parents brought me home and when I was not yet officially theirs. Looks wise it could only get better!
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
I can never get enough of the Christmas Carol and whatever version will do and I enjoy the book too. However, the one that appeals to all the family is the Muppets’ Christmas Carol. It is possibly the only time that I have enjoyed Michael Caine on screen too.
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I was extremely lucky that my first son was born in November and we had snow on his first Christmas Day. I remember his half-sister holding him up to the window to show him. It is a precious memory as she left us a few months later.
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
It has varied widely. Until my early teens, it was a traditional family Christmas at home in Yorkshire with my parents, brothers and Uncle Lawrence. At that point, Mum announced she would no longer be doing the full thing and we would eat out on Christmas Day from then on. So I have special memories of Christmas at home and in restaurants including the Three Nuns which my Yorkshire friends will know. I had a couple of Christmases with my brother Michael in London and remember walking in Kensington Gardens through the snow one sunny Christmas morning. Fond memories Michael in our first Christmas without you. I spent my 21st Christmas in Germany with my parents. I spent one Christmas in Carlisle with my landlord Alan’s family. I had a couple of Christmases presumably in Cambridge and Oxfordshire with my first live-in lover type person Dave. When he did the dirty, I had a Christmas alone back in Dewsbury. Christmas with Himself and the children are mainly Yorkshire ones but not any more!
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Has to be the Pogues – gives every woman an excuse to blast out “You scumbag!” and get away with it. Plus it plays to my Irish heritage and if you have not listened to the rest of the Pogues’ offerings, I highly recommend them.
Carols wise I love “O Come All Ye Faithful” with a good descant and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”
Must not forget “Last Christmas” either and hope it goes to Number One as a fitting tribute to someone lost too soon.
Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
No. It is always Christmas morning for us and I worry that Christmas seems to start in July now which removes a bit of the special flavour of it for me.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Blitzen, Vixen, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid, Rudolph – erm! Cheating brings Dasher, Comet and Donner and who doesn’t need a kebab after a Christmas night out?
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
Relaxation, family time and laughter.
Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
I have not got one yet but hoping to buy a real one tomorrow. I have had both over the years and usually as a long-held family tradition it goes up and is decorated on my birthday.
What’s your favourite holiday food/treat/sweet?
How do you narrow that one down? Chocolate log, Mum’s Christmas cake with cheese. Terry’s Chocolate Orange, sprouts. prawn cocktail, tomato soup. I could go on!
Be honest. Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?
I have always loved giving and still do. I like really listening all year and then getting something the person will adore. However, over the years, I have started to like to receive and do wish people would listen as well as I do rather than just buying really obvious stuff off the marketed supermarket shelf. Just saying Scumbag!
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
My doll’s house made by my Dad’s best friend who was a joiner with doors that you could slide right off and decorated superbly by his two sisters.
What’s your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
Moscow just because I have always wanted to visit. Really it does not matter so long as I am with the right people.
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
This has changed over the years. It was always my job in my childhood home to wrap all the presents and I loved doing it and was so good at it. I was always very proud of my efforts. Nowadays, I don’t always bother to be honest going down the throw stuff in a big festive sack and keep it simple.
What’s your most memorable Christmas memory?
How on Earth can I choose one? I cherish them all. One I will share is how after Christmas lunch at home I used to join my older brothers and my cousin Sean for card games and they used to con me that I was drinking booze when actually it was just lemonade.
What made you realise the truth about Christmas?
What truth are we talking about? It’s about the birth of Jesus and then a man in a sleigh appearing in the sky.
What makes the holidays special for you?
I love how people start behaving as they should all year round with more time and care for other people. I enjoy that I let myself relax which I don’t do often enough. I enjoy that everything becomes funny for some reason instead of stressful. Memories and talking about Christmas past is very important to me too whilst also knowing and relishing that I am creating memories for my own children now.
Time for a little tagging so tell me about your kind of Christmas …