My perfect Christmas is at home and is totally off-duty. My husband [Nick Jones, founder of the Soho House members’ clubs] takes 10 days off work, and I’m off work too, so we’re there with our daughters and friends and family – no cars, no plane and no trains. I used to be in the news cycle as a newsreader, so you always had to have an ear on, but that’s not my life now, so I fully take advantage of that. Since we moved out of London and into the countryside a few years ago, I feel that I have more of an oasis of space around my family life that I didn’t have before. Domesticity definitely matters most to me.
If you’re buying into Christmas like I do – and I really love Christmas – I think the point of it is nostalgia, somehow connecting with the fantasy of it. And because I was brought up in Scotland, it’s also the idea of bringing light into the darkest days of the year. Looking around your table and seeing your family and whatever’s happened in the year, having a laugh and sharing a moment together, is just about the most important thing.
I’m not somebody who can make things. I can’t knock up a garden shed or wallpaper
a room, but I can make, I think, a nice big meal for people, and it’s something I really enjoy. I’m also greedy and I love food. That’s the thing we always did as a family, and my mum still talks about the importance of family meals. And you know what? She’s not wrong. Generations and ages and personalities around the table is a nice thing to aim for.
We’ll start Christmas Day in pyjamas, because my girls are up so early, opening stockings and presents together. We’ll definitely have a bucks fizz with breakfast. My husband is a great host and believes, as long as everyone has a nice drink in their hands it’ll be a great event. I’m doing Christmas lunch this year, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m quite organised and I do as much prep as I can, which means I do relax and enjoy the day. I will also have a think about what I’ll wear on the day. I like to dress up a bit – it’s a special occasion – but I’ll be back in an approximation of pyjamas with a cashmere cardi by the evening. We usually finish the day watching a Christmas film together.
There’s nothing original about why I love Christmas – it’s all the things that anybody would love, the really traditional things.
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