Christmas on Becca's Books | Christmas Q&A with Daniel Riding

~ Christmas Q&A ~

With Daniel Riding

What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas has to be one of my favourite times of the year because it’s when you can get together with family and friends and just enjoy being happy.

When does the Christmas excitement usually begin in your household?
Usually at the start of December, by then a few presents and decorations have already been bought and the magic starts to fizzle in the air.

In terms of present shopping, do you like to begin early and stay organised, or are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of shopper?
I am never organised, for me personally I like to spend a day wandering around the shops and seeing what I can find. It’s almost like a festive treasure hunt.

What’s your favourite part of a Christmas dinner?
All of it! Haha. I love the food at Christmas, we usually go to my Husband’s parents and his mum whips up a feast. Literally. It is amazing.

Least favourite part?
Ungrateful family members! There are a couple in our family and it really winds me up when the odd person can be spoiled or selfish. Its Christmas everyone, have fun and celebrate with each other.

Ultimate favourite Christmas song?
I love pretty much every Christmas song there is, but I do love a bit of Santa Baby.

Favourite Christmas movie?
Without a doubt it has to be ‘The Grinch’. I adore that film and can’t wait for it to come on TV.

Is Christmas usually a huge family affair for you, or a small gathering?
A bit of both. When we go to my Husband’s parents it’s a huge family thing which is fabulous. But when we come home, it’s just us and the cats which is just as fun. Ooh I’m getting even more excited just thinking about it.

Who does the cooking?
My husband does. I panic in the kitchen. Haha.

What sits atop your Christmas tree?
Well this year will be the first time we’ve had a tree in about 8 years. We’ve moved to a new place you see. Our old flat was awful and small and we literally didn’t have any space for a tree. So I am extra excited this year.

Do you decorate with precision, or happy chaos?
Oh happy chaos is a must. I put on the Christmas songs and go to town. That’s half the fun, especially when one of my two cats will probably be running away with bits of tinsel in their mouths.

Who does the washing up afterwards?
Again, that would be my Husband. I’m making it seem like I’m a kept man aren’t I? haha. We divide the chores between us in terms of what we hate doing the least. I do all the ironing and cleaning the bathroom etc.

Favourite gift received?
I don’t really have a favourite gift. I love all the presents I receive but what stands out most in my mind is the experience of Christmas and getting to spend it with the ones I love. There have been a couple of years, many moons ago where I didn’t get to spend Christmas with anyone so I truly treasure this time of year.

A Christmas reading recommendation?
The TV guide. Haha.

If Santa could grant you one wish this year, what would it be?
This is going to sound random, but to win the lottery. It really isn’t as material as it sounds. If winning the lottery actually happened I could make sure everyone who I cared about would be taken care off. I would make sure my Dad was well looked after, I would make sure my sister in law and brother in law and my two nephews had everything they needed. I could just help a lot of people which is something I would love to do. Plus on a little bit of a selfish note, I could become a full time writer without worrying about things.

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?
As early as needed really, it depends if we are meant to be somewhere at a certain time such as the in laws in the morning.

Three favourite Christmas smells?
There is a couple of yankee candles that are brought our over Christmas that I love. Candycane lane, I think there’s a gingerbread one and there is also one that smells like Christmas spices. Yummy yum yum.

Have you ever spent Christmas away from home? Did you enjoy it, or miss the familiar surroundings?
Not to sound too morbid and sad, but there was one Christmas many many years ago where I was actually homeless. I don’t talk about it much but I think it’s good to mention because it really makes you appreciate how fortunate you are. This one particular Christmas I had no one, and it was a tough time in my life. But now I am truly blessed, and am so appreciative of being able to be around those I love not just at Christmas but all year round.

Do you pile presents around the tree, or wait until Christmas Eve so they’re there on Christmas morning? 
Hmm, well this year is the first time we’ve had a tree in a long time plus we have to take into account our two cats who love sparkly things. So we may test the water and pop a couple of small ones under the tree to see if they get attacked. If they do then it will probably have to be Christmas Eve. Cheeky Kittys.

Has anything ever happened to you, to make you wonder if Christmas time really is magical?
I think Christmas really is a magical time of year. I don’t know about anyone else but I am certain there is a magic in the air that you can feel. Everyone is happier, sillier and more positive and it’s that ripple effect of positivity that feels so magical.

If you could spend Christmas anywhere, where would you spend it?
I don’t care where as long as I’m with my Husband and family.

Cranberry sauce or not?
Always, and lots of it.

Mince pie or Christmas pudding?
Both, don’t you dare make me choose. Haha.

Any special Christmas traditions?
Me and my Husband always open our Christmas presents at midnight when it turns from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. We always open them in bed as well with our cats getting excited haha.

How do you spend Boxing Day?
Eating, watching TV and relaxing as much as possible.

At what point do the Christmas decorations come down?
First week in January I think.

What are you looking forward to most, this Christmas?
Celebrating Christmas in our new home, and buying a tree and decorating it too.

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