24 December 2011

My Favourite Christmas... by Ali Harris

Welcome back to my Christmas 2011 feature! As you know, I've asked lots of authors to write something about their favourite Christmas, and I've been lucky to have a great response. Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming the winner of my Chick Lit Book of the Year Award, Ali Harris!

Until recently, my favourite Christmases were all about the past, not just my childhood but the romantic past, the ‘olden days’, if you will. Just like Evie, my main character in Miracle on Regent Street, I’m a sucker for old-fashioned values and I’m such a romantic that I desperately want Christmas to feel like it does in the great old American movies, or even better, when I was a child.

But ever since I discovered that Father Christmas didn’t actually exist (I KNOW, it really ruined my festivities last year!) I’ve enjoyed the anticipation of the day much more than the day itself.  But whilst I adore the breathless preparations, watching magical Christmas films like It’s a Wonderful Life and walking through the frosty, fairy-lit streets doing my late night shopping and then wrapping the presents in front of a roaring fire, I can’t help but hanker after those bygone days when Christmas was truly magical.

But then I remind myself that even for those of us who doubt that an overweight old man in a red suit delivers our presents, this time of year can still be magical because it makes you feel like anything is possible. For us, Christmas is about believing in ourselves, in our family, our friends, in our dreams and life decisions. It’s about reminiscing without regret and looking ahead with anticipation. And that’s what I’ve been doing…until now.

Because this year with two children of my own – a 9 month baby girl and a nearly-3-year-old boy who understands Christmas for the first time – I’m blessed with the honour of being Santa Claus myself. I’m giving the magic, not receiving it. I can’t wait to put my little boy to bed on Christmas Eve, to tiptoe into his room when he’s asleep and fill his stocking with presents, then watching him wake on Christmas morning when he discovers with all the joy, innocence and wonder that only a child who believes can have that Santa Claus has been.

And I can tell you that this year, there’ll be no more hankering after Christmases past, or wondering what the future will bring. Instead, I’ll be concentrating on putting this Christmas in a little box for me to hold on to forever. And for that reason, this Christmas – the Christmas present – is my favourite of all.

You can read my review of Ali's brilliant book Miracle on Regent Street here. You can also buy the book in paperback or as an eBook!

Merry Christmas Eve!

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