Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Bookends authors share their Christmas Day Routine

As homes up and down the country wake up to put the turkey in the oven and open their stockings, our Bookends authors share their Christmas Day routines.

Carmel Harrington, author of Cold Feet: The Lost Years

We awake early, courtesy of our two children – Amelia (7) and Nate (6). They scramble into bed with Roger and I and then we all run to see if Santa has been. Santa always leaves his presents in our living room, in big red sacks. Roger and I watch the children open their Santa gifts, then we all have breakfast. Fortified by my first cup of tea of the day, we sit down and open our family presents, which are stacked under our tree. We normally do Christmas lunch at home, but this year we are going to my parents, as are my siblings and their families. I predict laughter, food, drink, love and a lot fun.

Chrissie Manby, author of The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club

The past few years have seen a lot of changes for my family and so I suppose we’re finding new Christmas traditions.  My sister and mum usually cook though.  If they do let me into the kitchen, they only worry that I’m going to undercook the sprouts.  Apparently, they need to go on around Bonfire Night.

Fiona Mitchell, author of The Maid’s Room

We open presents, put on Christmas music, then at around 10am, the eating starts with crisps. I spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking which involves dropping things and burning my wrists in a bid to fit everything in the oven. Somewhere along the line there’ll be games including Uno. Then we’ll flop and watch a David Walliams drama, followed by a film.

Stef Penney, author of Under a Pole Star

Depends where we are, but it will include present opening (after a token walk and lunch), and Christmas Eve involves a ritual reading aloud of Astrid Lindgren Christmas stories. No television allowed.

Della Parker, author of The Reading Group

Smoked salmon and scrambled egg for breakfast. A walk in the forest. (I got my car stuck in the mud one year). Christmas presents after dinner which is at 2.00 pm. Then we often play board games or Charades if we can move. Amazingly, boringly ordinary.

Emily Phillips, author of Trying

I haven’t had a definitive Christmas routine since I got together with my husband Charlie and we got to rotating between being at one of our families’ houses for Christmas morning (and present opening – all of that hastily fashioned wrapping in the recycling!). What we do always seem to do is have a massively gluttonous lunch at one house and then go on to the others’ for the same again for dinner. I need to add some stretchier waistbands on Santa’s list.