Jane Costello’s Perfect Christmas Morning by Jane Costello
I’ve always been a Christmas fanatic, something I inherited from my parents. When I was little, the festive season was never a particularly sophisticated affair like in the magazines, where houses are decorated with tasteful Nordic touches and an abundance of twigs and orange peel.
In our house it was loud, brash and so bright that my Dad would’ve been within his rights to put the decorations up each December and shout: ‘In your face, Blackpool Illuminations!’
Christmas morning in particular was mayhem and began at about 6am when my mum (who’d been so excited she couldn’t sleep all night) would shout out: ‘HE’S BEEN!’ This, incidentally, was something she was still doing when I was seventeen years old.
Now I’ve got kids of my own, it’s rubbed off on me. So my idea of a great Christmas morning is one that starts early and explodes into a joyous frenzy after my boys spot their presents – then register that Santa has eaten the fare they’d left out for him: the mince pie, carrot and that traditional tipple we assure them he loves, G&T on the rocks.
Once the presents are opened, we’ll get a bit of Christmas music going whip up a nice breakfast. This usually involves some softly scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, walnut bread and a bit of Buck’s Fizz – I’m a great believer in starting as you mean to go on.
Breakfast consumed, I tend to spend as long as possible in the shower with my newly acquired smelly stuff (Molton Brown or Jo Malone, which I now receive after several years of unsubtle hinting).
Then we then all get togged up and embark on a mammoth session of visiting relatives. I’ve got quite a big extended family so this can take a while.
All in all, I can’t pretend any of this is especially relaxing – that’s not a word that’s been used in my household since 2005, when my first child was born. But it’s seriously fun . . . and I can’t wait!
Quick Fire Round
Q: What is your favourite Christmas song?
A: Fairytale of New York – because who’d have thought the words, ‘You scumbag, you maggot!’ would fill your cockles with festive cheer?
Q: Baileys or Mulled Wine?
A: Mulled wine, although it goes down dangerously easily and you can happily convince yourself you’re drinking warm Ribena after a few.
Q: Favourite ever Christmas present?
Jan My Sindy House was everything my nine year old self had ever wanted – and is beaten only by the Tiffany ring from my fiancé a couple of years ago.
Mince Pie or Yule Log?
Surely both – Christmas is no time to deprive yourself.
What would you like to find in your Christmas stocking this year?
I’ve developed a renewed interest in the gym, thanks to my impending wedding in 2015 – so some new workout gear would be good. Wearing all the right stuff makes all the difference somehow.