I am a Christmas nut. I don't know when this happened - I was always more of a Halloween person, but this year, I've been feeling festive since the end of August. I think a lot of it has to do with having very small children in the house again, my eldest stopped believing last year so it's nice to have Santa back!
I am, however, aware that not everyone likes to hear about Christmas before the children go back to school, which is why I kept my ramblings confined to the pages of my Christmas planner (essentially a notebook) or secret Facebook groups. UNTIL NOW!! I wasn't sure how to kickstart Christmas on here, but lovely Zoe from My Stepping Stone tagged me to do this post and I thought it was the perfect way to get things going.
Plus, as we have all learned from my teenage diary extracts, I was never one to pass up an opportunity to interview myself.
1. What is/are your favourite Christmas movie/s?I have two - my all-time favourite is Elf, but I always watch Christmas With the Kranks while I'm putting up the decorations. Actually, I do love The Santa Clause too. And Bad Santa. And Love Actually. And The Polar Express. No, it's Elf. It's definitely Elf.
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?Christmas morning! Christmas Eve is already full of excitement and chocolate, to have presents too would just be......Christmas overload. By the way, I'm very Monica when it comes to opening presents, I'm the one following the children with the bin bag...
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?One memory that has been coming back to me lately was watching Nana making the Christmas cake. She would cut brown paper up, fix it to tins with some twine, then she'd get her huge beige mixing bowl and the magic would start - I can still smell it to this day, and I remember hanging out of her apron like a dog waiting to lick the spoon, hoping she'd leave a glacé cherry for me. I can still taste it - sweet, with the disgusting aftertaste of uncooked batter. It makes me want to make a cake, but nobody eats it in our house.
4. Favourite Festive Food?Oh here we go. Brussels sprouts with tiny bacon bits, pigs in blankets, potatoes roasted in goose fat, julienne carrots (the definition of posh), creamy mash with spring onion, yorkshire puddings, gravy, homemade stuffing, trifle, roast beef (nobody likes turkey), honey/clove roasted ham. All of it. All of it will be in my belly in time to watch Eastenders, then we'll have leftover sandwiches for about three days. I've been in charge of our Christmas dinner for about 8 years now and I LOVE it. Except the time the bag of giblets were cooked with the turkey and there was a distinct bang of burnt plastic off the entire dinner. I didn't love that so much.
5. Favourite Christmas Gift?I love buying for other people. I swear to god if I could spend the rest of my days as a personal shopper I'd die a happy woman - I can trawl the internet for hours at a time looking for special or quirky things for people. For myself? Not so much. I genuinely can never think of anything I want. I'm always happy with perfume, books, and things that I'll use - lipstick, socks, earrings, stuff like that.
6. Favourite Christmas Scent?Warm spices, like those limited edition Glade candles that always appear in Autumn. I love the smell of spiced apples, berries or cinnamon. I'm using this Treacle Moon shower gel at the moment (half price in Tesco, less than €1.50) and it's stunning, it's like Christmas in a bottle.
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?We go for a drive during the day and drop presents off with friends/neighbours. Then I prepare the dinner for next day while listening to Christmas music on the radio (RTE Radio One is excellent on Christmas Eve). We burn candles for our Dads, who have both passed. We leave a light on all night, and we stay up to watch Midnight Mass. One recent addition to Christmas Eve was the Christmas Eve Box - a box of treats to open before bed. For this year, I got a lovely Christmassy box in Dunnes for my 10 year old. Into that will go a pair of new pyjamas, some fluffy socks, slippers, instant hot chocolate, popcorn for a movie, a DVD, a book, bubble bath or a bath bomb, a Christmas mug and some chocolate coins. The babies are a little young yet but they do have new pyjamas, personalised books, Christmas finger puppets, Christmas socks and some snacks. Fiona did a fab post here about her son Tyler Lee's Christmas Eve basket, it's definitely something I'm going to continue.
8. What tops your tree?A twin. No, I'm messing - but we don't have a big tree anymore since the babies came along, it would be pointless. Instead, I have a little two-foot tree topped by a little star, and I concentrate on decorating places the boys can't reach, like walls, windows, etc. I do miss the big tree but it wouldn't be worth the hassle if they got into that room! This was last year, I just about had the energy to barely decorate it. This year.... bring it on!
9. As a kid, what was the one gift you asked for but never received?
There were two. My friend A had a Keyper and I was insanely jealous of her. I also really, really wanted a Mr. Frosty so I could make tooth-rotting ice snacks.
10. What's the best part of Christmas for you?I love the build-up. I love choosing things for people, I love the whole buzz and preparation, the excitement, the lights, imagining the look on my kids' faces when they get their presents - I just bloody love Christmas. Not as much as Andy Park, but I love it. LOVE IT.
Thanks so much to Zoe for tagging me, I tag everyone who reads this and wants to give it a go!