8 December 2011
My Favourite Christmas... by Veronica Henry
Helping little fingers prise open the first glitter-encrusted advent calendar door ** New Christmas party clothes - velvet, lace, sequins and glitter ** Late night Christmas shopping at the farmers' market, to buy cheese (Vacherin!), chocolates and mistletoe, then meeting friends in the pub for brandy and ginger ** Wrapping the presents with my husband once all the children have gone to bed, and sharing a bottle of champagne ** The feeling of big, fat, velvet stockings bulging with presents ** Opening our presents to the soundtrack of "The Snowman' read by Bernard Cribbins ** Blinis and smoked salmon - and more champagne! - while I prepare the lunch ** Fighting over the last pig-in-blanket - everyone's favourite ** Mince pies made with orange pastry, a big dollop of brandy butter stuffed under the lid ** A head-clearing walk on the beach as dusk falls while someone else tackles the washing up ** Falling asleep in front of the telly with a Terry's chocolate orange, snuggled up with my boys"