Dani Atkins was born in London in 1958, and grew up in North London with her parents and younger brother in Cat Hill and Cockfosters. She moved to rural Hertfordshire in 1985, where she has lived in a small village ever since with her husband, two (now grown-up) children, two elderly cats and one insane Border Collie. (Bio courtesy of Amazon UK.)
She is here today to talk about her favorite holiday, around which most of her novel takes place. Thanks to Head of Zeus, we have SIX copies for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!
You can find Dani on Facebook and Twitter.
Favorite holiday from any time of the year:
My favourite holiday is, without doubt, Christmas. I get stupidly excited about it as soon as autumn begins.
|Looks like Santa has delivered an early gift!|
For me Christmas is all about family, and even though we sadly no longer have a large extended family, Christmas would simply not be the same without my two children being back at home with us for the holiday season.
When my daughter and son were young I began a tradition some weeks before the main event of telling them “the Christmas story.” I am somewhat ashamed to admit that this was not the expected story of the nativity, but rather “The Atkins Christmas Story.” Basically it was a blow-by-blow run down of events of what was going to happen in our household, starting from the morning of Christmas Eve and leading right up until the time we sat down for Christmas dinner the following day.
No detail was too small to be omitted, and particular attention was paid to the very important part where Father Christmas would arrive in the middle of the night, creep down the chimney and fill the stockings. This story was repeated many times throughout the month of December, until all three of us knew it verbatim.
It occurred to me quite recently that I hadn’t told this story for quite a while, so I asked my son a few years ago if he’d like to hear it again, for old time’s sake. “No thanks. I’m good,” he replied. I was a little disappointed, but he was twenty at the time, and stands over six foot two inches tall… so maybe it was to be expected.
Favorite memory from this holiday:
Christmas is full of memories and it is virtually impossible to find one that stands out above the others as a favourite. So many are repeated year on year, but are still deserving of being called special. One of my favourites is having the family gathered together to decorate the tree. We have Christmas music playing in the background as we work, and even the fairy lights not working (and just why is that, by the way, when they were fine when we put them away), can’t ruin our good humour. This is just as well, as without fail each year I manage to buy a tree that is far too tall and wide for our low ceiling cottage. Of course, when the decorating is done, another favourite memory is rewarding yourself with a piping hot glass of mulled wine and mince pies or two.
Favorite song related to or from this holiday:
I love so many of the Christmas songs, and each year I cannot resist buying yet another compilation CD to add to my collection. I have been known to start playing them as early as November in readiness. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is my favourite classic, but I also love some ‘new classics’ too, including "Grown Up Christmas List," "Where Are You, Christmas?" and "Miss You Most (at Christmas Time)."
Favorite movie about or including this holiday:
It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it, I would happily watch Love, Actually every Christmas time for the rest of my life.
Christmas is a time for chocolate. Actually, any time of year is a time for chocolate – but Christmas is when you try to pretend that it really isn’t bad for you to eat your own body weight in confectionery in a single day.
I adore the full traditional Christmas meal with turkey and all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding. And the very best thing about our Christmas dinner is that my husband does all the cooking and I am banished from the kitchen. The perfect Christmas gift!
What do you like most about this holiday:
What I love most about Christmas is the way that it makes you feel. There is a warmth that exudes from total strangers, which doesn’t seem to happen at any other holiday period in the year. I just love it.
Thanks to Dani for getting us into the holiday spirit and to Head of Zeus for sharing her book with our readers.
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