It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows. When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love. When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear. When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart. When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.
I’d like to welcome Louise Marley to share the beauty of the season with us.
Louise Marley was born in Southampton but resides in Wales. Marley’s first book was published after she entered a competition to ‘write a bestseller’. She has also written for magazines such as Take A Break and My Weekly.
Favourite holiday tradition?
I love the tradition of hanging up Christmas stockings. My husband hid my engagement ring in my Christmas stocking. Although, technically, I suppose that means I’m engaged to Santa Claus.
Favourite childhood toy?
I always wanted roller skates but I never got any. Which, as I’m rather accident-prone, was probably A Good Thing.
Favourite childhood game?
It’s a tradition to play a board game after Christmas dinner. We have The Simpsons version of Cluedo, that’s a favourite. I usually end up being Marge.
Snowball fight or making snow families?
When I was 13 it snowed so heavily my school closed for weeks. By the time the thaw came, I’d built a snowmum, a snowdad, three snow children and a little snow house complete with furniture. Possibly my finest moment.
Sleigh rides, sledding or skiing?
Sledding. Although next time I’ll make sure there isn’t a stream at the bottom of the hill.
Favourite holiday song?
I love “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. I know all the words. Particularly the yoo-oo-oo bit.
Favourite holiday movie?
Elf. My family watch it every Christmas. Whether they want to or not.
Favourite holiday story to read?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Snow on holiday eve or just a chill in the air?
I used to dream of a white Christmas, until last year we had one. The romance of being snowed-in vanishes when you’re faced with frozen pipes and a dwindling supply of food!
Most memorable holiday memory
Probably being snowed-in with frozen pipes and a dwindling supply of food! Although my children said it was their best Christmas ever!
Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still?
I have no idea what a popcorn ball is!
Real tree or artificial? Green or white?
If you can still see the tree, you’re not using enough decorations!
What do you do holiday eve?
Panic. Have I sent all the cards, remembered where I hid the presents, bought enough food…
What are your holiday plans this year?
I’m hoping this will be the year I fall asleep in front of the TV while my husband washes up. Fingers crossed!
What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without?
There would be trouble if there wasn’t a turkey.
Please share a holiday recipe
I cooked beef bourguignon once. It came out lilac. So perhaps I’d better not!
Holiday party tip?
Yes — don’t have one! Saves on the clearing up afterwards.
Favourite holiday decoration
When I was a teenager I visited Harrods, the London department store. They had an entire room full of Christmas decorations. I’d never seen such beautiful things. I bought one glass bauble and carefully brought it home on the train. Amazingly it didn’t break — and I’ve still got it!
Please share some magical holiday memories
Well, there was the year my youngest brother almost severed his finger, or the year my other brother threw his teddy on the fire, or the year we all had stomach flu, or the year the cat climbed the Christmas tree. I think I mentioned the year we got snowed-in…
Wrap, giftbag or bow & go?
All of the above. I can wrap pretty much anything, provided it’s square.
Gift or gift cards?
Nothing beats a beautifully wrapped present under the tree. Although I do sometimes cheat and ask people what they’d like.
Do you eat fruitcake?
Oh, yes. And Christmas pudding, and chocolate Yule log, and mince pies…
Do you head to the movies on the 25th?
It used to be a tradition that we’d see a Christmas movie on the 24th but now my children are older, they’re not so keen. They don’t make vampire Christmas movies, do they?
What’s in your stocking? *wink*
At the moment, my foot
What do you want in your stocking? *saucy wink aka swink*
Maybe I’d better not answer that one on the grounds I might incriminate myself.
Do you head out on the 26th into the madness to exchange or shop for anything?
We did once. We got up at 4.00 am and headed for the sales. Saw the queues and headed right home. Never again!
Thank you so much.
Happy Holidays from my house to yours!
Visit Louise’s website.