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My Favourite Christmas memory…with Jo Thomas and Debra Daley

We’re continuing the Christmas cheer on Bookends with some of our favourite Bookends authors and their favourite Christmas memory. Jo Thomas tells us about the time the REAL Father Christmas sat on her foot and Debra Daley got stranded in Paris. 

Jo Thomas

It was Christmas Eve and as all good children know, unless you’re asleep Father Christmas won’t visit.

I tossed and turned, but sleep wouldn’t come.

Then, at what must have been about midnight, a chink of light appeared around my opening bedroom door.

Oh god! It was him! And if I wasn’t asleep he wouldn’t leave any presents.

I had to pretend to be asleep or the magic would disappear! I lay, motionless, eyes shut. And it began to happen, the rustle of presents being pushed into a stocking.

When finished, instead of leaving, Father Christmas sat down, heavily, on my foot!! ‘Ow!!!’ but I knew I mustn’t utter a sound! So I laid there, with Father Christmas on my foot until eventually, he rose and slowly left the room and I finally let out the breath I had been holding. I could feel the weight of the stocking on the end of my bed. The real Father Christmas, fresh from the North Pole, had sat on my foot. Proof if proof were needed. He was real all right!

For more festive cheer, pre order Jo Thomas’ latest novella Notes from the Northern Lights, available exclusively in eBook. The perfect read for a weekend with your feet up in front of the fire. 

Debra Daley

We’ve had many great family Christmases, but for sheer serenity, it’s hard to beat the Christmas of 2010, when a combination of sudden, serious snow, Eurostar cancellations and two French cats that needed looking after in a friend’s apartment meant that we inadvertently spent the 25th in Paris.

In blizzardous conditions, we made a last-minute run to the local corner store, bought champagne, a celeriac, pungent cheese and an odd-looking bird that turned out to be a guinea fowl. With no internet and no obligations, we seized the chance to spend Christmas Day writing, then ate our impromptu festive dinner lounging in front of the TV watching Alec Guinness act his way impeccably through Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Magic!

Read Debra Daley’s latest book The Revelation of Carey Ravine, a beautiful historical mystery set in 1770’s London.


Look out for more festive fun on Bookends this month and if you feel like getting up to some baking this weekend, why not try Emma Hannigan’s Gingerbread Cake recipe


Photo credit: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/st-nicholas-day-is-tomorrow-and-why-its-worth-adopting-or-inventing-family-traditions/