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Discover Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Zawe Ashton, Tan France and Hannah Waddingham’s quirky Christmas traditions

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

“We host Christmas – my husband Richard and I, and our kids – so everyone comes over to us. We’ve got loads of traditions – some of them are quite universal, while some of them are unique to our family, such as dancing a Conga line around the house singing ‘here comes the Christmas pudding’ after lunch.

On Christmas Day, I like to wear a fun party dress – something I can eat lots of food in and not worry about it. For Christmas parties, I’m open to wearing all sorts of things. I’ve got lots of sparkly pieces. I’ll be dressing up in Christmas partywear as much as I can all throughout December.

My top Christmas advice? Think of it as a season. Enjoy all the aspects of Christmas and don’t put yourself under too much pressure to get that one day right.”

“I’ll be DRESSING UP in Christmas partywear as much as I can throughout December”

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Tan France

“I put my Christmas tree up on Halloween and I keep it up until Valentine’s Day! I grew up in a Muslim household, so we didn’t really celebrate Christmas, but I was desperate to. My husband and I provide the food and the presents, but it’s not so much about the religious aspect for us – we’re celebrating family, friends and community.

On Christmas morning, I’ll wear festive pyjamas. In the evening, we usually have friends over for dinner, so I go a little bolder – I’ll usually throw on a blazer.

I try to come back to England as often as I can around December. My family lives in Manchester, and the Christmas markets there are wicked. We don’t do Christmas like this in America.”

“I put my CHRISTMAS TREE up on Halloween and keep it up until Valentine’s Day!

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Hannah Waddingham

“I don’t think Christmas has to be glamorous or over-the-top. It’s absolutely what you make of it with the right people. If there’s a Christmas tune going (from late November), then I’m in. I appreciate the little things, like the little plastic jumping frogs and the fortune-telling fish that come in Christmas crackers, which take me back to childhood.

If I can get away with lounging about on Christmas Day, then that’s fabulous. My top tip? Eat plenty of food before you start drinking. Everybody tends to get a little too excited and you really want to avoid mixing your drinks unless you want to feel like a washing machine.”

“It’s the LITTLE things that remind me of childhood

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Zawe Ashton

“The thing I’m looking forward to most about Christmas this year is my table centrepiece. It doesn’t necessarily matter if people’s plates can fit on the table or not, it’s all about what’s on display in the middle for me.

I get very excited when it’s time to hang the stockings up, and I make everyone wear novelty jumpers on Christmas Eve. I really love to give a small present on Christmas Eve, open the stockings in the morning and then the presents under the tree later. My sister creates a personalised Christmas quiz for our family which I always look forward to.

My least favourite thing about Christmas? I’m not a Brussels sprout fan. I want to be. I’ve tried so hard. Last year I tried to jazz them up with a recipe from a cookbook, but it just didn’t work – I didn’t commit enough.”

“I make EVERYONE wear novelty jumpers on Christmas Eve”

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