Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 10 - Meredith Russell

Day ten and my lovely friend Meredith Russell is my guest today.

She is offering a $5 giftcard. Leave a comment on this post and the winner will be picked on 27th December at 6pm, GMT.

Question 1.      What is your favourite Christmas movie?  

Up until recently Santa Claus: The Movie was my favourite. The one with Dudley Moore and John Lithgow. I love that film. But then I saw Arthur Christmas and I just think that is awesome.
Question 2.       What is your best Christmas memory? 

Wow. I don’t know really. I guess I hold on to the simple memories of how things used to be when it was kind of just my family for Christmas. So there were no husbands and wives, no kids, no in-laws, just Mum, Dad, their partners, me, my brother, and my sister. Like how we’d always do the same thing. We’d spend Christmas Eve and Day at my mum’s and Dad would have me and my brother on Boxing Day. So it would always be drinks, a buffet tea and charades on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas morning we’d get up early even when none of us believed in Santa anymore and Mum would be in and out of the kitchen while we opened presents, followed by slobbing in the afternoon with the TV, and a turkey sandwich for tea. Then Boxing Day was Dad’s day - more presents, another Christmas dinner, playing a board game or DVD game in the afternoon, a buffet tea, then down the pub until home time. I miss it sometimes, but making new memories with an expanding family is just as fun now.
Question 3.       What is the best present you’ve received? 

I have such a terrible memory about this kind of stuff. I can’t really think of anything as an adult that I’ve had that I didn’t either ask for or help pick out. I guess the last thing that made me go aww was off my husband who had gotten me a small gift to open on the morning in the hotel before heading over to his parents’ house for lunch. It was an emergency supplies tin and in it was some of my favourite things to eat/drink, or what I collect lol - a can of Pepsi Max, Cadburys chocolate, a cuddly toy, and a fancy pen and notebook. It was like... you know me so well.
Question 4.    What is the best present you’ve given? 

Crikey. You mean besides the gift of my wonderful company? I have no idea really. I love that my nieces are now old enough to rip the wrapping off themselves and I enjoy having that magic back in Christmas that had slipped a bit since my brother, sister and I had all grown up. So I love giving them gifts. But I guess from a fun buying it kind of thing I enjoyed some of the gifts I used to get for my university friends. It was kind of a challenge to get ridiculous stuff. I can’t really think of anything in particular now but yeah, that was good fun.
Question 5.    Santa Claus – real or fake? 

Definitely real. Who else is eating all those mince pies we leave out?
Question 6.      What is your favourite Christmas book? 

It’s a book I’ve had since I was a kid - An Oxford Book of Christmas Stories. I think I got it from some book club thing at primary school. But it’s a strange mix of horrible, funny, and sweet short stories all mixed up – you know the thing, people freezing to death and curses and a boy clubbing his grandfather round the head because he thought he was the real Santa and wanted to steal his bag of presents. Happy Christmas!
Question 7.       Do you like eggnog? 

I don’t know because I don’t really know what eggnog is. What is eggnog? Is it like advocaat? That’s got egg in it, right? If so then yes I like that when made into Snowball cocktails, so mixed with lemonade and lime.
Question 8.      What do you eat at Christmas? 

Other than chocolate? For Christmas dinner it depends where we are. If we’re at my husband’s parents they do a soup starter (I guess there’s space in their bellies if they don’t open presents until later so haven’t binged on a chocolate breakfast), then we have turkey with the usual veg, roast potatoes type stuff. If we’re at my dad’s he has cockerel, plus very yummy sausage meat stuffing, and cherry pie for pudding. And if we’re cooking it ourselves we save up a bunch of Marks and Spencer vouchers and go crazy lol I think we had turkey and gammon last year, then the veg, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, and a toffee sponge for pudding.
Question 9.      Be honest, when do you put up the Christmas tree? 

I think it’s a tradition passed on from my parents, but it has to be December, and because of work and stuff it therefore is the first weekend in December. That’s my rule and when I send my poor husband up into the roof to get all the decorations down :) So this year it’ll be the 5th or 6th.
Question 10.     When do you open your presents?  

Personally, I’ve always been used to before dinner, so we get up, open presents in our pjs, binge on chocolate for breakfast and sneak off at some point to get changed in time for dinner. But my husband’s family don’t open theirs until the afternoon. So as we alternate Christmases at the moment, one year we open them before lunch, the next after lunch.
Question 11.      Do you have snow at Christmas? 

We can do. I live in England so we have the cold weather. It just varies when the snow comes whether it hits Christmas itself or falls before or after.
Question 12.     What is the best – all-time – Christmas song. Ever!  - Oooh. There are so many good ones. I have two particular favourites which are Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses and Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie. If I had to stick one on repeat? I’d go with... Stop the Cavalry.


  1. Great interview, thanks for sharing! I've never tried eggnog, mainly because I don't drink alcohol. According to Wikipedia, Dutch advocaat is indeed an eggnog.

  2. Thanks for the interview! It's always interesting to know what people who actually have winter eat for Christmas. Here it's always so hot but we eat like if it were snowing.

  3. Oh those fun (Christmas) memories, i feel that when you grow up you really start to appreciate all the things in your youth more. Maybe it is because you are care free when you are young and don't have so many responsibilities :) Thanks for the Q&A and Happy holiday's


  4. I don't like eggnog. I don't drink alcohol (which I've bee told makes the eggnog good) so I'm not sure if I would like it all made up either. Love to have snow on the ground and ice hanging from the trees and lots of Christmas lights at Christmas.

  5. Yay for chocolate breakfasts at christmas.

  6. What is advocaat? I've seen it mentioned several times but never heard of it.

  7. Great answers to the questions, I've never had eggnog and we always have breakfast then the present can be opening. Merry Christmas Meredith to you and your family.

  8. On Christmas Day, all eating rules are abandoned so chocolate breakfast is a staple, as is wine by 10.30 (have to have something to help when peeling the sprouts!)

  9. Really enjoying the author Q&A. It's funny how none of you know about eggnog. It's a milk and egg punch, much better homemade with a shot of booze, rum or bourbon are good choices. Never ever ever buy the stuff in a carton at the supermarket, bleech! Along the same line I don't have a clue about your fav songs. Give me anything from Aaron Neville's Christmas album, especially Such A Night.

  10. Now that no children are involved we usually open presents around mid-day on Christmas. It's nice to get up and when we feel like it and take our time getting together with the rest of the family. There will be a grandchild by next Christmas so things will be changing again. :-)

  11. Love your cover art.

  12. Great interview. Thank you for sharing! Chocolate in the morning? That is it's own little present =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  13. Thanks for the post. I never watched Santa Claus: The Movie, I did watch recently Trading Places, a great movie.

  14. Merry Christmas Meredith. I love the Santa Claus movie too. :)