Welcome to day 24 of the Christmas Blogger Q&A. Today’s Christmas Q&A is with Jessica from Jess Louise Keen.
Jess Louise Keen
I’m a 23 year old English Literature graduate and I started my blog in May 2014 amidst writing essays at the end of the first year of my degree. I suppose I would put myself as a ‘lifestyle blogger’ as my blog covers various parts of my life – trips I’ve been on, recipes, crafts, fashion, general thoughts…if you like a bit of everything and anything then I think you’ll enjoy my ramblings!
Question 1 – What’s your Christmas tradition?
Growing up I had a fair few traditions – including making mince pies and cheese straws, watching all the Christmas films before the big day, highlighting everything I wanted to watch in the Radiotimes and having a ‘bits and bobs’ tea in the evening on Christmas Day. Since moving out of my parents’ house and into my own, I’ve carried on these traditions, and the most recent addition is that Tom and I will go to Chatsworth in December as the house is decorated in a different theme each year. This year will be the fourth time that we have been, and it’s a big highlight of the season. I also started ‘Christmas curry’ in the first year of my degree with my coursemates where we all get together to do secret santa, watch a Christmas film and of course eat curry! Tom and I always have a photo in front of the tree with Tilly which is so lovely to look back on as I think the first one we took was either 2012 or 2013 and I love to see how we’ve all changed over the years and line them up side by side.
Question 2 – What is your favourite Christmas indulgence?
The food! The mince pies; the cheese straws, the after eights, the roast dinners, and of course the Christmas curry.
Question 3 – What is the best gift you have ever received?
I think my all-time favourite gift that I have received is a VHS video from Father Christmas when I was about 4 or 5. It’s a Disney Christmas sing-a-long video that has been a staple watch ever since (I think my mum said I used to start watching it in May!) and I still have the video despite having no video player on which to watch it. It’s split into two – the first half is Christmas songs with cartoons playing in the background, and the second half is songs to scenes with people dressed up in Disney costumes (think Disneyland). I now have to watch it via YouTube as you can’t buy it on DVD outside of the US and I will be eternally upset if I can never find it online.
Question 4 – Are you an early gift buyer or leave them to the last minute?
I’m a bit of both! You’ll never find me going out for someone’s gift on Christmas Eve, but then again you’ll never find me buying Christmas presents in March. I wish I could buy early to spread the cost throughout the year but if I buy someone a gift in March it’s soooo long a wait to December that I have to gift the person the present at the time!
Question 5 – Do you have a favourite shop to buy gifts?
This is quite a tricky one, I buy quite a few gifts from Amazon but that’s not technically a shop you can walk into, so if I’m going off of a shop I have to be able to physically walk in, places like John Lewis or Marks and Spencer are a favourite this time of year (totally feel like I’m turning into my mum by saying that).
Question 6 – Is there something which you always wanted for Christmas but never got?
I honestly don’t have any memories of any Christmas’ where I was ever disappointed with any of the gifts that I had received and that something was missing! I feel very lucky to be able to say that – not to say that I ever got everything I asked for, but my parents knew what I would like and would get most use out of and so always chose well.
Question 7 – What is the most thoughtful gift that you brought someone?
This is hard because I always put a lot of thought into the gifts that I buy people, but I think the most thoughtful gifts are those that are homemade because it shows you really know the person and you’ve spent time and effort to make them something. One of my favourite gifts to make was some wooden tree decorations that has photos on either side, and I loved picking out the different photos for people and seeing the decoration come to life when I washed off the excess paper. I actually did a blogpost on how to make these, and not to blow my own trumpet, but I would highly recommend making these for someone as a gift!
Question 8 – If you could be in any Christmas movie, which one would you be in?
This is such a tough question as there’s SO many Christmas films that I love! My favourite Christmas film is Santa Claus (the one from the 80’s) but I don’t know if this would necessarily be the one that I would want to be in. I think Love Actually would probably be the one that I’d like to be in (as an additional story with Tom rather than in place of one of the characters) it’s such a heart-warming film and I love how all of the stories weave in and out with one another; plus I’d loved to be served by Rowan Atkinson with all the over the top wrapping!
Question 9 – What is your earliest Christmas memory?
I don’t know if this is necessarily my earliest, but I remember one year seeing a shadow reflected on my pillow and thinking ‘this is it. If I turn around now I’ll get to meet Father Christmas’ (as in my house Father Christmas brought me my stocking) but I was too nervous to turn around so I stayed facing the wall. (I then saw the shadow go into my parents room but didn’t see any issue with this haha).
Question 10 – What makes Christmas special for you?
It’s a cliché, but what I love about Christmas is spending time with friends and family, especially as I’ve gotten older and learnt to appreciate this so much more. My favourite part of Christmas isn’t the actual day, but the whole run up to it – the songs, the films, everyone’s feeling festive, the time off work…I really enjoy the build up and I think my favourite day has to be Christmas Eve as it’s filled with so much excitement.
What is something you have been proud of in terms of blogging this year?
I’m proud that after taking a break from blogging for a while, I’ve gotten back into writing and enjoying the writing process again, as I found it hard transitioning my blog to life after university, as university had been such a massive part of my blog for its entirety.