Today’s Christmas interview guest is Carol E. Wyer. Don’t be alarmed when you read that she calls her husband Mr. Grumpy. It’s all done with love. Here is Carol, author of several humorous books about which you can find out more at the bottom of the page. Welcome, Carol.
1.Do you celebrate Christmas?
Since our son left home Mr Grumpy has decided that we shall no longer celebrate Christmas. Consequently, we now go for a walk in the morning and then he spends the rest of Christmas day ranting about the television offerings, while I hide in my office and watch the latest box set of Dexter DVDs that I squirrel away during the year ready for the event.
2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?
No. Although these days I quite fancy spending Christmas alone!
3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?
Last year we had a pot of yogurt and an apple. We had huge problems with our drainage system that meant we had no water for three days and couldn’t flush toilets, cook, wash, etc. Mr Grumpy spent the entire afternoon in the pouring rain attempting to bail water out of a ditch in an attempt to prevent it from backing up to our bathrooms and flooding them. It wasn’t our best Christmas.
4. What are your thoughts on gift giving?
They have changed over the years as I now feel there is far too much emphasis on gifts and not on the true meaning of Christmas. Nowadays, I only give gifts to my mother, son, and his girlfriend. Mr G and I don’t give each other presents either.
5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?
The best Christmas was one we spent in France. We opened stockings filled with gifts in the morning, had next door’s children around to choose chocolates from the Christmas tree, went out for lunch at a local restaurant filled with French ambiance, then had a walk around a picture postcard perfect village that twinkled with lights, snowflakes, and charm. We then went back home in the snow, made Lego toys out of my son’s present with him, sang Christmas carols while we did that and had an idyllic time.
6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?
We always used to have stockings first thing on Christmas Day. The presents were always small gifts but we had such fun opening them. Even Mr Grumpy used to enjoy opening silly presents such as a DIY small glider when our son was younger.
7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?
Tricky question. I always love anything I get because someone has taken time and trouble to get it for me. I am rather fond of a fluffy teddy bear that Mr Grumpy bought me. It was because it was out of character for him to buy such a sentimental present and he knew I would fall for it.
8. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?
My father made me a ‘ship in a bottle’ using a walnut shell and a tiny bottle. He called it HMS Nutiless. I treasured it for years.
9. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.
I always made Christmas boxes for the lunch table. They became the focus of Christmas. I started making them to replace Christmas crackers which I thought were a waste of money and never had any nice presents inside them. I made up a box filled with Christmas chocolates, a little gift like a nice key ring, jokes that I printed out from the computer. I drew holly branches and Christmas trees on the little slips. Each set of jokes were relevant to the person so one year Son got jokes about drinking and Hubby got jokes about aeroplanes. Each box had an exploding popper to represent the ‘bang’ in a cracker and a kazoo or blower to make a noise with. Over the years, the boxes got bigger and had more in them, including puzzles and challenges like ‘sing this Carol in a foreign language’ (words provided). My son loved the boxes more than the stocking presents. They certainly made lunchtime entertaining and invariably meant I burnt the turkey.
10. What would you change about Christmas?
I hate that shops start trying to sell you stuff already in October. I would prefer it if everything began on December 1st, towns had Christmas parades and illuminated their decorations then, and stores kept everything under wraps until the same time. In fact, Mr Grumpy would like it if it were abolished altogether.
11. What would you keep the same if you could?
Christmas Nativity plays and Christmas carols. They are always the best part of Christmas for me.
12. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?
Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard.
13. What do you like best about Christmas?
Having a glass of champagne at lunchtime!
And here is a photo of last year’s snowfall that kept Carol housebound for quite some time.
Here are three of Carol’s books. Check them out if you’re looking for something fun to read.