What is a Christmas tradition you and your family have?
This will (all being well) be the last Christmas I spend in my lovely home in Chiswick in London – as in January I will be moving to the seaside. My Christmas morning river walk by the Thames on Chiswick Mall will be replaced with a stroll past the bandstand on the seafront at Eastbourne - where they always have a band playing on Christmas morning.
What is or was your favorite stocking gift(s)?
When my siblings and I were small, my mother always protested that we shouldn't waste our pocket money buying Christmas gifts for her. Her request was that all she wanted was "a 50pence piece and a handkerchief". One year we decided to take her at her word and we all carefully wrapped up hankies and 50p coins. Since then it has gone into family history and we often threaten each other with that as a gift or say "I've just got you 50p and a hankie".
The other tradition which must trace to the second world war when fruit was scarce in Britain and citrus non-existent (I was born in the decade after the War) was for Santa to leave a satsuma orange in the toe of everyone's Christmas stocking. As kids we were all very disdainful of this - leaping instead on the chocloate coins and other goodies.
I have only twice spent Christmas outside the UK. The first time was when my father took the whole family (Mum plus 5 kids) to Southern Spain to celebrate his retirement. It felt very strange lying on the patio in the sunshine while the turkey was cooking. The small oranges for our Christmas stockings were actually growing on the trees.
A few years ago I spent 6 months living and working in Australia and enjoyed Christmas in the hot humid climate of Brisbane where my brother and his wife and four children live. It was delightful to spend Christmas with them - but I will never get used to temperatures in the high 40ºs C at Christmas. Sorry, but it's just weird!
Egg Nog or Cocoa?
Neither! It has to be Prosecco on Christmas morning while opening presents.
What is your favorite part of Christmas day?
I love Christmas lunch - turkey and all the trimmings. I've been trying to get my family to try a goose one year but they all look at me in horror.
What's your favourite Christmas Movie?
I will be spending Christmas with my younger sister who is a member of the British Academy of Film and TV Awards (Bafta) and she gets an enormous pile of DVDs to view and judge in the run-up to Christmas so, if I'm lucky, I'll get to watch a couple of the newly released or about-to-be-released movies with her.
The next stop on the tour is with Derek Birks today https://dodgingarrows.wordpress.com
and then tomorrow with EM Kaplan at http://justtheemwords.com and Lorraine Devon Wilke at http://afterthesuckerpunch.com. Do take a look and leave a comment.
And here is the full blog tour
Tuesday, December 1 : G.Egore Pitir
Wednesday, December 2 : J.D.R. Hawkins : Martin Crosbie
Thursday, December 3 : R.A.R. Clouston
Friday, December 4 : Helen Hollick
Saturday, December 5 : Judy Ridgley : Karen Lobello Judy Voigt
Sunday, December 6 : David Penny
Monday, December 7 : J.B. Hawker
Tuesday, December 8 : Vinnie Hansen : N.W. Moors
Wednesday, December 9 : Cheri Gillard
Thursday, December 10 : Clare Flynn : Derek Birks
Friday, December 11 : Emily Kaplan : Lorraine Devon Wilke
Saturday, December 12 : Valerie Biel : Charlene Newcomb
Sunday, December 13 : Martha Kennedy : Annie Daylon
Monday, December 14 : Debrah Martin : Helena Schrader
Tuesday, December 15 : Maggie Pill : Cassi Clark
Wednesday, December 16 : Pauline Barclay : Karen Aminadra
Thursday, December 17 : Alison Morton
Friday, December 18 : Amber Foxx : Malcolm Noble
Saturday, December 19 : Anna Belfrage
Sunday, December 20 : Janet Leigh : Maria Grace
Monday, December 21 : Joe Perrone Jr.
Tuesday, December 22 : Prue Batten : Diana Wicker
Wednesday, December 23 : V.L. Thurman
Monday, December 28 : Lisa Brunette
Tuesday, December 29 : Carrie Beckort
Wednesday, December 30 : Jackie Weger
Thursday, December 31 : Anna Castle