Monday 7 December 2009

Authors' Christmas - Part 1

merry christmas treeSeeing as Christmas is not so far away, I thought I'd ask a few authors what Christmas is like in their house. As we get closer to Christmas, I'll be posting the authors' answers to two different questions each week. Enjoy!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Becca Fitzpatrick, author of Hush, Hush:
We always bake treats for our friends and neighbors. It's a whole day of serious baking. There's flour and sugar everywhere, and usually a few broken eggs. Also, every Christmas, I take my two little boys on a sleigh ride with horses. It's so cool! On the years when we don't have snow, we go in a horse-drawn wagon. Finally, right after Thanksgiving, I gather up all the Christmas picture books and hide them under my bed. Every night in December, I read the boys one of the Christmas books for their bedtime story. It's our way of counting down until Christmas Day.

Luisa Plaja, author of Split by a Kiss and Extreme Kissing:
When I was growing up, we weren't allowed to open our presents until after lunch on Christmas day. My family now do the more traditional thing of rushing downstairs at 5am to see if Santa has been.

Emily Gale, author of Girl, Aloud:
We have two singing mice. Classy, eh? Traditionally these come out in November, because that’s when the children become aware that Christmas is approaching and therefore begin their daily, rigorous Free The Mice! campaign. One mouse sings ‘Let It Snow’ and the other sings ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’. They are very high-pitched and dance like Thunderbirds puppets. The batteries never run out. And the moral of this story is: never go shopping for Christmas decorations with a 2 year old when you’re 8 months pregnant. The combination of hormones and pester-power is fatal.

ETA: Emily has posted a video on her blog of one of her singing mice. Check it out!

Ruthanne Reid, author of yet to be published novel, Guardian*:
Yes! A tangerine in the toe of each stocking, which apparently hails back to nuns leaving socks full of fruit and such for the poor.

What is your Favourite Christmas song?

Becca Fitzpatrick:
My favorite upbeat song is Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You. My favorite traditional song is Silent Night.

Luisa Plaja:
Hee, I have a pretty unusual one, I think. It's The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I love the references to The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and The Fantastic Four. ;)

Emily Gale:
Traditional – ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. It’s rousing! I’m not religious at all any more but it reminds me of my childhood, and being in a big church, all those voices magnified by the amazing acoustics – gives me goosebumps. Non-traditional – Band-Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Yes, I’m an 80s girl.

Ruthanne Reid:
I Wonder As I Wander. No question. I'm torn between the Robert Shaw version and the Mahalia Jackson version.

Great answers, huh? What are your answers? Don't forget to check back next week for answers to more questions!

*From Ruthanne, about her novel: I write about boys with wings, child-like princes in love, and telepathically enslaved wizards, and yes, I do bite. My YA fantasy novel, Guardian, is currently riding the agent merry-go-round with full and partial requests on the table.


  1. This is an AWESOME idea! I loved reading about the traditions, and I have to agree with Becca. My favorite upbeat Christmas song is Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is you! I'll be looking forward to more of these questions!

  2. Thank you, I'm so glad you like the idea! :D I'm also a huge lover of All I Want for Christmas Is You, but I also like Last Christmas by Wham! SUCH a great song! But then there's also I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard and Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade! Love them!

  3. What a fun post! You are SO creative.

  4. Thanks for this fun post, Jo. I loved taking part and loved even more reading the other answers. I want a sleigh ride!!

  5. I loved reading the other answers too! (Hey, we have tangerines in our stockings too!)

  6. Awww...I love these! And that is a clever idea Becca has for the holiday books...

  7. Juju - Haha! It was inspired by the post I wrote for the Virtual Advent Tour; with everyone else talking about their Christmas meal, I wondered what authors would say, so I thought I'd try asking them a few questions :)

    Emily - You're welcome! And I agree, a sleigh ride sounds so cool!

    Luisa - I used to get given an apple/orange, but Father Christmas has stopped that now. Ahem. I don't like oranges, and I don't really eat apples all that often.

    Daisy - It is, a clever sort of advent calender! Really clever!