Friday 4 December 2015

Festive Interview with Emma Hannigan

Hi, Emma! What sits on top of your Christmas tree?

Would you believe I have several trees! One has a star on top, one has glittery flowers on top and the other has an angel. So I guess I cover all eventualities!

Favourite Christmas song?

I’m torn between two! I adore ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ by Chris Rea because I named my book after it. I also love the story it tells. But a part of my heart always melts when I hear ‘Last Christmas,’ by Wham! I was an 80’s kid and this song always makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Favourite Christmas film?

I know it’s not a Christmas movie officially, but each year as a child I looked forward to watching ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ as it was always shown on TV. I still wouldn’t feel as if Christmas were complete without seeing it. I still long for ruby slippers too…

Favourite festive food?

The whole shebang! Christmas dinner with roast turkey and all the trimmings… I could eat it all year around – except I’d end up actually being round… Yum, can’t wait.

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

My laptop. I got it in 2006 and was excited about “playing” with it. As it turned out I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after that. My computer became my lifeline as I began writing my first novel. That gift has changed my life and my career!

What’s been your favourite Christmas present to gift to someone?

I’m a happier “giver” than “receiver.” I love to buy thoughtful gifts and see the reactions of loved ones. For me it’s not about price but more about finding something however big or small, that a person will use and love. I don’t go for useless pressies that will sit gathering dust. But I do tend to edge toward fun things that people mightn’t necessarily splash out on themselves.

The best part of Christmas is…

Everything! I love, love, love it and am always so excited. I love all the gathering together and having fun and giggles with the people who are there for me all year. I adore the decorations, baking, wrapping of gifts and the amazing excuse to add as much sparkle to my home as possible… Did I mention I love Christmas??!

The worst part of Christmas is…

The thought that some people are stressed or alone. We lost a very dear friend last Christmas and I know it can be so difficult for some families. Financial pressure can be crippling for people too. So I always think of those less fortunate and try to do something to help my local charities.

When do you do your Christmas shopping?

I begin in November at the latest, so it’s not all a pile of stress and I hope not to end up broke too. I find it easier all round if it’s not all lumped into one week. I enjoy thinking about what I’ll get for each person rather than doing a dash and grab and ending up with things they won’t like.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Yes, each year without fail, we go to my in-laws for breakfast and back to my parents for dinner. It means we get to see everyone. Also, on Christmas Eve, we sit as a family of four – just me, my hubby and two kids and have a special steak dinner. We pull crackers and have a lovely evening. Ooh, I can’t wait!

What’s your favourite memory of Christmas?

I am in the amazing position of having a wonderful childhood to look back on. I also have incredible relations with my own children (when they’re speaking to me – they’re both teenagers!). So my memories are warm and fuzzy. I remember getting a Tiny Tears doll one year and genuinely believing I had landed in heaven! I had wanted that doll for the longest time and it was so precious.

Do you have a favourite Christmas book?

‘The Snowman’ was and still is a favourite of mine. I also love ‘Mog’s Christmas,’ as it was one that my children adored. It’s a privilege to see children’s eyes light up at the sound of story being read aloud.

The important question: Santa – does he exist?

Without doubt! If you don’t believe, you won’t receive. I met him once and he told me that it’s vital we all believe in magic, otherwise how would dreams come true? I also remember standing in the park opposite my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve when I was around six years old. I convinced my five cousins Santa Clause had flown overhead. But the amazing thing is that I truly believed it too!

How would you spend your ideal Christmas?

Just as I always do. The way we have it worked out now is my ideal day. Surrounded by the people I love, eating and drinking and being merry. What more could I possibly wish for?

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every precious reader a very merry Christmas and a healthy new year. Thank you all for reading my books and keeping me in a job I love. May all your dreams come true and may you find something to make you smile each and every day.
Love and light
Emma x

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