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It wouldn’t be Christmas without… featuring Tamara McKinley and Lucy Dillon

What makes Christmas perfect for you? Authors Tamara McKinley, Lucy Dillon, Ciara Geraghty and Katie Marsh give their opinions this Yuletide.


Tamara McKinley, author of Echoes from Afar

It wouldn’t be Christmas without…

Receiving those awful boasting round robin letters which make my toes curl and leave me feeling totally inadequate as a mother, for how come my children aren’t as talented or clever – why don’t they take a year out to deliver Bibles to Africa, or achieve great academic heights – or win first prize at the egg and spoon race? Those letters remind me of the far off days when I had to attend mother and baby clinics and began to panic because my precious little soul seemed to be lagging far behind all the other babies which were potty trained at six months, could talk at eight months and probably run a marathon by the time they were one. There are times when I’ve been tempted to do a letter myself cataloging the disasters and pratfalls my lot go through, just to make everyone realise we might not be brilliant, but we’re getting along quite nicely, thank you!


Lucy Dillon, author of All I Ever Wanted

It wouldn’t be Christmas without…

Mulled wine and a chocolate orange.


Ciara Geraghty, author of This is Now

It wouldn’t be Christmas without…

Stuffing!! I LOVE stuffing. And fairy lights. And Baileys in a crystal tumbler with ice cubes a-clinking. An open fire. [Beslippered] feet on couch. That feeling you get when, at last, everything is done;  the shopping, the cleaning, the food preparation, the wrapping, the posting of cards, the stressing about gift selection and if you’ve peeled enough spuds. And there, on the couch, with the Baileys a-clinking and the fairy lights a-twinkling and the soft wool of the slippers making your feet feel like they’ve never suffered through a pair of high heels, you get this feeling – fleeting but none the less potent for its transience – and it feels like world peace is a possibility and a cure for dementia is but one bunsen burning moment away.…


Katie Marsh, author of A Life Without You

It wouldn’t be Christmas without…

Our annual battle to drag the tree through our front door. Every year we forget that we don’t live in a house designed for giants and drag home an enormous tree, before arguing in the (inevitable) rain about how on earth to get it into our flat. All is well though, once we have sawn the top off and persuaded it to stand up vaguely straight in our living room. We get out our ever-increasing collection of baubles and stars and the angel with only one wing and our daughter puts them on the tree. Wonderful.


If you liked this why not read some more of our Christmas content,

All I want for Christmas is… with Adele Parks and Chrissie Manby


It wouldn’t be Christmas without, featuring Sheila O’Flanagan and Annabelle Thorpe