We’re off to Ontario today to interview Melanie Robertson – King. She is the author of a novel and an anthology. Melanie has been to Scotland, enjoyed it, and talked about it so much I thought she was Scottish. Maybe she has some Scottish relatives?
Here is one of the many nutcrackers in Melanie’s collection.
1. Do you celebrate Christmas?
2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?
3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?
I’ve always done things traditionally since I started cooking Christmas dinners. When I was young, we always went to my grandmother’s and after that my mother’s or husband’s family’s so I never had to cook. But I do turkey (usually just a breast), mashed potatoes, gravy, turnips and stay traditional right down to the plum pudding for dessert.
4. What are your thoughts on gift giving?
I don’t mind the gift giving, but don’t like the shopping so much. Lately, there haven’t been as many places to shop locally (I refuse to shop at Walmart) so it means having to shop elsewhere, although the choices are getting better here at home.
5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?
I’m not sure I would describe it as fun, but I loved going to church Christmas Eve for the 11:00 p.m. service.
6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?
Yes. We always hang our stockings on Christmas Eve on the banister of the stairs leading to the upper level of our house. Usually, there is garland and white mini LED lights on it, too. It looks really festive.
7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?
Books. When I’m not writing, I’m reading so a book is the best gift ever – any time of year.
8. What was the worst gift you ever received at Christmas?
It was a knit pants/top outfit that I got when I was at teenager. Bleurgh… hated it. Wore it once then stashed it at the back of my closet.
9. What do you do with gifts you hate?
I think the outfit mentioned above went to a church rummage sale. I don’t think I’ve re-gifted anything but I have sold things in garage sales.
10. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?
Probably one of the sweaters my sister-in-law knit.
11. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.
I used to sew and make a lot of our clothes. One year, I made dresses with pinafores for my daughter and all the nieces and trousers and vests for my son and the nephews. I’ve also made pies to give as gifts.
12. What would you change about Christmas?
Slow down on the time the decorations come out in the stores. I’ve seen Christmas stuff out on the shelves cheek by jowl with the Halloween merchandise. That’s way too early.
13. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?
Even though I’m not a huge fan of Christmas Carols, I love Carol of the Bells.
14. What do you like best about Christmas?
Where do I start? The movies. I have a huge assortment on DVDs. Christmas Eve is always A Christmas Carol (B&W Alastair Sim version), then Christmas morning after we’ve had our big fry-up with mimosas, Holiday Affair first followed by Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck version). In the lead up to the big day(s), I watch The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas. And since my husband doesn’t like the movie Christmas Story, I watch it when I’m decorating the tree.
The food. So many good things that are only available that time of year (or we only ever ate it at that time of year) – plum pudding, mincemeat tarts, cranberry tarts, fruitcake, shortbread.
Always a fan of the written word, Brockville born and raised, Melanie spent many of her formative years reading.
The writing bug first bit when she was about thirteen, but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.
Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the US and the UK.
In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography and travel – especially to Scotland, although Paris rates high on her “must return to” bucket list as well. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.
Blog: Celtic Connexions