Hello again! For today’s second post, we have Bonnie Bridgman here to tell us about some of her festive traditions. Her book is for SURE on my Christmas tbr and reading this has me very excited to get to it. Onto the post!
I love Christmas. I love it so much I wrote a Christmas book and spent an unnatural amount of time deciding what Christmas song each character preferred, which obviously meant I had to play all Christmas songs on a loop to be sure of my choice!
Christmas is all about traditions for me, some of which stemmed from when I was a little girl and some which we started when we had our own child. I love that everyone has their own Christmas traditions. It’s this nostalgic element to the season that creates some of the magic for me. Ever since I was little, we would open a present on Christmas Eve. I’m half French and it was my mum’s way of celebrating her Christmas as well as celebrating it on the 25th. My husband and I now tend to gift books to each other on Christmas Eve as a nod to Jólabókaflóðið (an Icelandic tradition literally translated as Christmas book flood). We always have books on our Christmas lists anyway (who doesn’t?) and I think it’s such a gorgeous tradition so we kind of mix the two up. We also have a special meal on Christmas Eve because I think it’s important to remember where you’ve come from plus, I love my mum, and this celebrates her and her traditions.
A new tradition that we introduced over ten years ago, is party food when putting up the Christmas tree. It’s so much fun! The Christmas music is playing, the Bucks fizz is flowing, baubles (and glitter) cover the sofa, and the oven timer constantly beeps telling me when to put the spring rolls in. I shan’t lie. It’s a little trickier with a dog. We’re constantly wrestling tissue paper out of his mouth and trying to get him to understand that a brightly coloured bauble is not the same as a ball and no we won’t play fetch, all the while trying to keep an eye on all the different timings the party food demands whilst my husband wrestles with the tree lights and my daughter checks her phone for the billionth time. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a little bit of stress though, right?
Another Christmas tradition of ours is a new decoration every year. To be honest, it’s just an excuse to buy more decorations under the guise of a tradition but I’ve started it now and I love doing it! We also buy a Christmas decoration if we’re ever lucky enough to go on holiday. These are my favourite decorations as they result in a reminiscing session when you put them on the tree or mantlepiece. I have a tealight holder which my mum gave me over twenty years ago when she went on holiday to Germany, and it makes me smile every time I put it out. We also have several ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ baubles which tug on my heart strings every time I place them on the tree. It’s another reason as to why Christmas is so special, it’s the memories and a celebration of love that fills the house for a month, or two, every year.
We have a few homemade decorations too. When my daughter was little, I thought it would be a great idea to make candy canes out of pipe cleaners, and button wreaths. I absolutely loved making these but… have you ever combined a pot of beautifully organised red, green, and white buttons and a toddler? I’ve had better ideas. We were finding buttons underneath the furniture for months afterwards! I still put those decorations on the tree though, much to my husband’s dismay.
Christmas is everything to me. I love the cheesy films on Christmas 24, I love listening to sleigh bells in songs and tree shaped food. I love the build-up, the sticky tape all over the place, the losing of the scissors and the finding of the scissors. I love book advent. I even love the elf!
Christmas itself comes with the desire for everything to be perfect but I have a secret; it won’t be. No day is ever perfect, and I think the pressure we put ourselves under is too much. The Christmases I remember are not the perfect ones. I remember the joy from playing games, and when the oven broke one year. I don’t remember what present I got but I do remember who I spent the day with. The best memories we make are the ones that happen unintentionally. So go ahead and have a wonderful Christmas. Carry on with the traditions you love or start your own. Celebrate it your own way. But most important of all, enjoy yourself.
Bonnie’s all-time favourite season is Christmas, so it came as no surprise that she has written a story about it. She is her happiest in a land of imagination and the more Christmas magic and festive fun, the better. Having worked as an actress for nearly a decade Bonnie has performed in many a Christmas show. She has portrayed a rather pink and sparkly fairy bow-belles and has even dressed as a Christmas present (don’t ask). Bonnie lives in Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing, or hunting down Christmas decorations, Bonnie works as a learning support assistant at an infant school which is the perfect age to test her stories out on. Her debut authored picture book Catch that Cough was published by Tiny Tree books in September 2019. Clara Claus Saves Christmas was Bonnie’s debut Junior Fiction and was swiftly followed by Clara Claus Saves Easter released in 2022.
Thank you so much for reading! What are your festive traditions like? Have you read any of Bonnie’s books? Let’s chat in the comments!
Speak very soon,