I’m not going to to lie, Christmas is crazy in my house. Every year I start December with these wonderful images of me gracefully cruising through the holiday season . . . but by 11.30pm on Christmas Eve I’m desperately wrapping presents, finding satsuma’s for stockings and wrapping streaky bacon around sausages – all at the same time! Then we fall into bed only to be woken up at around five by excitable children. Of course there was the year when I tried to keep things “fresh” and left the stockings on the bed. Fair to say we only made that mistake once after finding Lana and Jake opening presents by themselves at one in the morning. In all honesty I find the best way to survive the Christmas period is just to DRINK more. Breakfast on the big day consists of champagne and chocolate. When I start the cooking I head into the realm of sherry swilling and after that it’s a slippery slide slope, through red and white wines until the after dinner Port is cracked open. I do love Christmas though. I love seeing the kids get excited. I love spending time with my family with no other pressures on our time or attention, and most of all I love giving gifts that make people smile. I have a very strange quirk with my presents, and I have to leave them all out in the lounge for a good few days. I can get a bit cross of people try and tidy them away too soon! I like to gaze at my gifts and remind myself how lucky I am to have people in my life who spend time trying to think of the perfect gift for me, no matter how small. My best christmas gift is new books. It goes right back to my childhood when I loved getting books. The smell of new unopened pages can transport me back a good few years. I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon and one year my husband (unprompted may I add) bought me a beautiful hardcover copy of Shadow of the Wind one of my all time favourite books. He also – and I still can’t believe I own on, surprised me with a signed had backed copy of The Angels Game. They go down in history as two of my best presents ever! What will you all be doing on Christmas? Will you be like me and be three bottles of bubbly down by eleven am, or do you have your own traditions you maintain?