Christmas on Becca's Books | Christmas with Clare Mackintosh

~ My Christmas ~

By Clare Mackintosh

After years as a police officer it is still a novelty to have Christmas off, and I always spare a thought for our emergency service workers, and anyone else rostered to work over Christmas. The festive period has always been a bit of a moveable feast for us as a result, with turkey and trimmings eaten on various days between 20 December and New Year! This year Christmas will happen on 25 December, in the conventional way, and for the first time we’ll be entertaining at home; the traditional family road trip having lost its appeal after years of trekking around the country. The time has come to stay put.

Christmas Eve is my favourite day. It’s full of expectation and last minute preparations, and the first day of the holiday period where it is acceptable to have a festive tipple at ten in the morning. By early evening it’s too late to do anything that isn’t already done, and the slight hysteria often present during the day relaxes into a ‘what the hell’ attitude that lasts for at least thirty-six hours. We don’t exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, but we have a big meal; a whole dressed salmon taking pride of place in the centre of the table. We might watch a Christmas film, before the children are issued with their stockings and packed off to bed, a mince pie and glass of milk left solemnly out for Santa.

With my children now 8, 7 and 7, there is a magic to Christmas I’m aware won’t be there for ever. In our house Father Christmas leaves the stockings by the fire; one for each person staying that night, regardless of their age. Buying these gifts is the highlight of my Christmas, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing the children’s excitement on Christmas morning.

Stockings opened, it’s time for a dog walk across the fields, mulled wine, Quality Street, and King’s College choir on the radio. The rest of the family will rock up around midday, and from then on in the house will be in uproar. Cousins charging around upstairs, the grown-ups catching up, drinking wine and getting in the way, and amongst it all… cooking lunch, which for us is never before four in the afternoon.

There will be fourteen of us on Christmas Day. I haven’t yet worked out where everyone’s going to sit, how on earth we will fit the turkey in the oven, or how many potatoes I need to peel. But I do know one thing: it’s going to be a wonderful Christmas. I hope yours is, too.

(Photo credit to Smart Photograph)

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and their three children.

Clares debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times Bestseller and is the fastest selling title by a new crime writer, this year. It has been selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club, and was the winning title of the readersvote for the summer 2015 selection,  and ITVs Loose Womens ‘Loose Books.  

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospitals Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.

You can find Clare Mackintosh on Facebook | Twitter |

1 comment :

  1. Lovely post! Merry Christmas to all! ❤️❤️❤️
    Jill Mansell Xxx