My friend Sue Fortin lives in the U.K. and is the author of “United States of Love.” I’ve asked Sue to share with us her traditions and ideas about the Christmas season. Welcome, Sue!
1. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?
No, not alone, but I’ve worked on Christmas Day before now. When I was a teenager my weekend job was in a care home for the elderly, so when Christmas fell on a Saturday, I still had to go in. It was nice though and only for the morning – I was still home for Christmas dinner.
2. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?
I have, unfortunately. It was bacon sandwiches. I was 8 months pregnant and very unwell, and my husband had just come out of hospital after a bout of pneumonia. It was all we could do to get out of bed to open a couple of presents with our 18-month-old son and cook a few rounds of sandwiches. In the end my mum abandoned her Christmas Day and drove 120 miles to come to the rescue. We actually had our traditional Christmas dinner in the new year.
3. What are your thoughts on gift giving?
I like giving presents and not at all fussed about receiving any. Having said that, it is lovely when one of my children gives me a present that I know they’ve gone to the trouble of buying themselves. I find that very touching.
4. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?
I never had Christmas stockings as a child and so it never occurred to me to do them for my children. We have what I call ‘tree presents’. These are given out after Christmas dinner and are the smaller gifts. I also save one present each for my children at the end of Christmas Day. It’s usually a DVD or a book, something they can relax with in the evening once all the excitement is over.
5. What do you do with gifts you don’t like?
Save them for school raffle prizes or donate them to a charity shop.
6. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?
I love ‘Silent Night’. It always reminds me of being a child and singing it at nursery school. It must have been the first Christmas carol I knew.
7. What do you like best about Christmas?
Getting together with all the family. I don’t live near any of my family so it’s really nice when we get the chance to meet up.
The Kindle Edition of United States of Love is available at amazon.co.uk