"I might be 55 but I still love the magic of Christmas!"

Carol on why she loves the festive period and why it’s a double celebration for her.

Carol on why she loves the festive period and why it’s a double celebration for her.

There’s no doubt about it, Christmas is still truly special

As the youngest of three kids and having always lived with my mum (still do!), I love a busy Christmas with friends and family. Of course, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea – I totally get why some people prefer to swap winter weather and turkey dinners for a beach a thousand miles away. The older I get I really do feel that Christmas should be what YOU want it to be, whatever that is.

Christmas is the one time of the year when most of our friends and family are on holiday at the same time. So I see it as the perfect chance to catch up, talk, play games, eat and drink. I don’t even mind the tough tasks when I know they will put a smile on my family’s faces. Christmas cooking might involve wrestling with a goose (or a turkey in my case), but what it all boils down to is having all your fabulous friends and family gathered around the table after hours spent in the kitchen (hopefully with all their help). This is no usual hurried midweek dinner when we’re late in from work.

It’s a double celebration for me!

People often say ‘Christmas is just for the kids’. I disagree! For a start, it’s my birthday on December 24th! Some people think that might be a headache but to me it’s just another reason to celebrate. (It never hurts getting twice as many presents or to raise another glass of bubbles! Maybe I’m just a big kid?)

It’s certainly true, however, that when you’ve got young kids (or grandchildren), Christmas is just a bit more exciting and can give you pure joy when watching them fall asleep waiting for Father Christmas, ripping open their favourite present or playing with each other around the Christmas tree (without knocking it over hopefully!). In fact, my two are now 19 and 24. They’ve long given up expecting a filled stocking at the end of their beds, but they still share my childlike excitement at the thought of giving presents and putting up all the festive decorations. We have adapted some of our traditions though! Instead of getting into my bed on Christmas morning we all get together and make our favourite breakfast and enjoy it in front of a classic Christmas movie.

And in turn, my mum loves to see me revelling in this special time of year. She never fails to give me a little extra birthday treat. We also always make the time to think of all the Christmases past and have a proper giggle over the photo albums – some of those 1980’s outfits are hilarious!

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few things that I simply have to have in my plans to make it a perfect Christmas.

  • A long country walk after Christmas lunch – not only a great way to walk off all that food but it’s a great opportunity to slow down, think about the year past and what’s in store for you in the next
  • A log fire – wherever I can enjoy it, sitting cuddled up in front of a crackling fire just makes you feel… content
  • Mistletoe – I love to hang some mistletoe up in the house, it’s always funny to see who bump into each other underneath it
  • Christmas carols – no not me festively adorned, but listening to some of the classics really can spark the Christmas spirit

It’s all about the people around us

For me, I really do take a break at Christmas and make extra time for the kids and my mum. I love taking mum out to do the Christmas shopping – we both get so excited about finding the perfect present. It’s also a great time to do some of the small things like a coffee with a friend – even better at a Christmas Market or getting your nails done as a little treat for yourself. I also try and connect with my loved ones who live around the world; although when they are calling from the beach I do get a twinge of jealously.

Some of my favourite experiences might be small, but they all add up to a big, beautiful and very special time of year. I really hope yours do too, this Christmas.

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Carol Vorderman

Presenter, author, superwoman