1.Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
Family Christmas Traditions sounds like we actually put some thought into it and not just do the same every year!. We are not religious at all so Christmas is about family and not worship. We do not go to Midnight Mass or any carol services but it always included a visit to the pantomime at The New Theatre.
When the children were small we would leave food for the reindeer and a drink and mince pie for Father Christmas. This was always eaten and sooty footprints would be left near the plate.
We open ALL the presents on Christmas morning as early as possible. I get so excited that I would be up hours before everyone else banging and stomping so they would get up.
Lunch is always Chicken, I’ve never cooked a turkey, with a homemade pork and herb stuffing passed down from my mother and possibly her mother. We must have pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) but the sausage-meat must be homemade. Christmas pudding is shop bought and always set on fire with brandy.
Crackers! They must have a cheap paper hat, a joke and motto in them. The quality of the gift is truly irrelevant as long as we all groan at the joke they are a good cracker.
2. What’s your ultimate Christmas movie?
Oh that’s hard because there are so many really good ones. I love It’s A Wonderful Life but we would probably watch whatever was the most Christmassy one on TV.
3. What 3 songs would be top of your festive playlist?
Number One Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues. I just love it and if it was the only Christmas song I’d be happy. We have a Christmas CD we put on full of cheesy songs that the children groan at but I know they love it really, so anything from that too.
4. Are you an online shopper or do you go to the actual stores?
A bit of both. If I had young children I would do it all online in October and have it done with. When ours were little we would have a day off work at the end of November and buy everything on that day. That gave us a month to search for the toys that every child wanted but wasn’t in stock.
5. Do you make shopping lists or buy things when you see something nice?
When the children were young I would make a list, now I leave it until the last minute wishing I’d started earlier and just buy something I see that I think they would like. I also ask what they would like so they get at least one present that they really want.
6. Do you send Christmas cards?
Very few. Our immediate family live away so we send cards to them, I deliver a card to everyone in our close (only 11 families). When I was working I didn’t give cards to colleagues a group of us would donate to a different charity each year instead.
7. Do you have an elf on the shelf? What do you do with it?
Haha! No we don’t. This is a new “tradition” that may appear when Bear is a little older and understands what Christmas is.
8. Do you have chocolate advent calendars or something else?
Always had chocolate advent calendars and until recently I still bought one each for my grown up children!
9. Do you do a Christmas eve box? If so what’s in it?
No. I find this a strange new tradition. I come from a generation of post war austerity and toys were only given on Christmas day and birthdays. Some people may have opened their presents Christmas Eve or after lunch on Christmas Day but they still only had one sack of toys. Christmas Eve was all about going to bed early to make Christmas Day come quicker!
10. Do you make any gifts?
I don’t think I have since I was a child myself. I do not seem to have the skill or time to make it look like a genuine gift rather than a botched try.
11. Do you do any Christmas crafts?
I used to make the decorations for the tree but that was because I always wanted to change the colour scheme and it’s expensive to buy everything brand new.
12. If you could only eat 3 things from your Christmas dinner, what would they be?
Chicken with stuffing and cranberry sauce. We only have Christmas stuffing at Christmas so it is special.
13. What’s your favourite festive tipple?
Brandy and dry ginger. It’s the only time I drink it. It smells and tastes of Christmas.
14. Where are you spending Christmas this year?
At home. I was a nurse for over thirty years so always had to work a shift at Christmas so we have always had Christmas at home. All our relatives live too far away for a quick visit and it would mean going for a few days.
This year, the first since 1982, we will not have either of our children here on Christmas Day. Before anyone says “oh no” or “how sad”, no, it’s fantastic!
Of course I would like them all here but they have their own homes now, and like us all those years ago, they want Christmas day to be just their family. They can then start their own family traditions.
I said at the beginning that our Christmas is about family. It is. It is about giving not taking, so my children have the gift of spending Christmas day wherever they choose without having to feel guilty or make an excuse.
Boxing Day, that’s different, they are all coming to me so we will have the Christmas CD on loud and have chicken with the traditional stuffing. We’ll pull crackers and play a silly game. We will laugh and make memories.
15. If you could go to any Christmas market in the world where would you go?
I’m going to sound like a complete bah humbug but I don't see the fun in Christmas Markets. Although a lot of the products are handmade they are very expensive and it’s cold! Every year Cardiff’s Christmas Market gets better but I have only ever bought one gift from there. Bears real name in wooden jigsaw pieces. If I did choose though it would have to be Germany, where I think they started and possibly Dresden.
Thank you Sally for taking part. You can find Sally by clicking the following social media links: