I already did the whole “thanks for all your support this year and have a wonderful Christmas” thing, I know. But, consider this an After Eight* mint to an already groaning table laden with Waitrose 1 food and beverages. Said groaning table of plenty symbolises the, er, immense quality of my blog, of course.
The wonderful Bridie from Bridie By The Sea has nominated me to answer some questions about Christmas, Mouse Moo style, and in my head some of the answers sound really quite witty, so I thought I’d share them with you. That’s not a legally binding declaration, though. I can’t be held accountable for your sense of humour, or lack thereof.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
First off it’s a film and not a movie, but how could it be anything other than Elf?! My husband and I just had a debate over whether it’s a bit “much” for Mouse and maybe she wouldn’t get it. I’m not sure her attention span would last beyond the spaghetti scene but that’s her loss.
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Just the one, when I was coked up to the eyeballs. I jest of course (seriously, I am joking) – I can’t remember ever having a white Christmas but to be honest, the country would probably wreck it and grind to a passenger-stranding halt and then come to moan about the horrendous weather conditions of 20XX that ruined everything and left children separated from their favourite aunt, and so on. Snow is only fun for about two hours anyway then it turns to sludge and black ice and creates merry hell on the inadequately gritted roads. Cold, sunny and crisp will do for me, thanks.
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
We typically rotate around a bit between my family and my husbands. There’s usually an enormous amount of driving involved (for us, not our families). It’s great, all that driving.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Without doubt, 2000 Miles by the Pretenders. It has quite a long fade-in that tickles at my ears if I hear it playing in a shop, and I’ll have a little moment to myself where I sway about and imagine I’m Chrissie Hynde. It’s basically a story about lost love, which always gets me right in the gut. Did you know Chrissie Hynde is American? 100% always thought she was Scottish. Or Janet Street-Porter.
Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Absolutely not! I know some people have a thing where they let themselves open just one. Instead, I’m a spoilt shit on Christmas Day and actively encourage the continued Sam tradition of The Last Present. This effectively involves telling me that I’ve had all my presents, then a few hours later a surprise last one gets whipped out. No, not that sort of present. We’re talking earrings under my pillow, or a book where my feet go at the end of the bed. Only I’m SO spoiled that now I like a Last Present and a Last Last present. A few years ago, my poor husband did three “Last” presents and then told me on Boxing Day that I was not to expect that level of indulgence ever again because it’s all too high maintenance. #sorrynotsorry
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes! Rudolph, Comet, Prancer, Vixen, Dancer, Dasher…oh, well they’re the main ones anyway.
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
I’m hosting Boxing Day so it’ll be my rules on my patch, innit. No – I’m quite looking forward to our Christmas Eve box, which has some Christmassy jimjams for the girls, some reindeer food (oats and glitter), and some nice bedtime stories. Plus our highly original plate for Father Christmas with sections for a carrot, mince pie and shot glass of sherry. I actually think Christmas Eve is my favourite day, because all the anticipation is there like a glistening red carpet. Christmas Day night just brings indigestion and present disappointment.
Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake – but it’s a really good fake one. We’ve had a real one before and I LOVE them, but they come with a lot of admin. One year, the bucket leaked and dripped sludgy brown water all over our cream carpet. Also, unless you literally go to a tree farm with a hacksaw and choose your beast, you can’t really predict the size of the badger if you go by netted sight alone. We have had one that exploded out of the net to reveal herself as an obese pear shaped beauty, with a ratty neck and a bottom half that took up the majority of our living room. That’s all part of it though – they’re unique and they smell incredible. Next year, perhapso.
What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?
Bread sauce! You cannot get away with bread sauce on any other day of the year. The first year I did Christmas at my husband’s parents, my mother in law got me a sachet (oh yeah, no-one makes it from scratch! God bless Schwartz) and I knew I’d been welcomed forever.
Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
I genuinely don’t know. I go a bit silly and awkward when I give someone a present that I’ve invested a lot of thought into – it’s not about monetary value. Despite what I said earlier about being a greedy and spoiled madam, I think I do get more enjoyment from giving gifts.
What is the best Christmas present you ever received?
The Sylvanian Families canal boat, when I was 6 or 7. I almost shit the bed with delight and I can still remember the feeling of unbridled joy. I think it’s kicking around in a loft somewhere, twenty (or thereabouts) years later.
What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
America, which I was SO LUCKY to spend Christmas and New Year in last year. I think it’s part of our culture – we’ve grown up watching the American depiction of Christmas and yes, it really is like that. I went for a run (at seven months pregnant, snaps to me) on New Year’s Day and had one of those “stop and take a mental picture because this is bloody brilliant” moments. My only regret is that I didn’t get to go to New York over the festive season which is still a top-ranking bucket list dream.
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
A few years ago I decided that I was going to be the best present wrapper ever. Like, that would be my thing, and I would be revered across the land for my creative ways with curling ribbon, stamps, and patterned cellophane. I’m not quite Mr Bean in Love Actually, but I’m alright. My top tip is a sellotape dispenser. My life changed the year I stole one of those from work.
Most memorable Christmas moment?
My husband proposed on Christmas Day 2010. We’d had a fucking dreadful year and I genuinely wasn’t expecting him to propose, because I’d not been the easiest person to live with. But at 6am I woke to find him by my bedside, on bended knee, saying all sorts of lovely things. It kind of turned into the worst Christmas, actually, because we both got swine flu and my husband’s beautiful, BEAUTIFUL Nan passed away on Boxing Day without knowing that we’d got engaged. If I had magic powers, I’d bring her back for a cup of tea and a Blue Ribband, and I’d show her our daughters. She would love them.
What made you realise the truth about Santa?
What makes the holidays special for you?
Sherry! Gah, of course it’s time spent with family. This year has felt very very long, and my husband hasn’t had any real time off since his paternity leave back in February. We’re moving house in early January so we have lots to do at home in preparation, but it’ll be lovely to have a break in routine and watch shit TV together.
Anyway, Merry Christmas lovely ones, to you and yours. I promise I’m going now.
*Totally did not know that Nestle make After Eights. Disappointment of the day!