Here we are another day closer to Christmas and I have a fantastic post for you today from author Will Carver. I must admit I thought I had got my posts muddled when I put this one together, I even went back to the original email to check 😂. I’m not sure what I expected, probably something grim and dark, but I’m pleased to report he sounds like a real softie at heart. I hope you enjoy reading this post…..
What is your favourite Christmas memory?
I was eight (I think). It was Christmas Eve. I was as excited as any kid is, thinking that Father Christmas was going to magically appear in my house while I was asleep and fill my stocking with goodies. I’d left a mince pie on a plate with a glass of whisky and I climbed up to the top of my cabin bed and shut my eyes, hoping that the next time I opened them, he would have been.
At that age, I was on the cusp of no longer believing in that aspect of the festive period. I fell asleep but woke up a few hours later to hear somebody in my room, putting things into my stocking and eating the food I had left out.
It was a strangely magical moment for me. I wanted to open my eyes so much. I wanted to sit up and take a look. But something stopped me. Maybe I was trying to hold on to it for another year, maybe some part of me knew what I would see if I decided to look. It was a really defining Christmas experience. Neither joyful or sad. Nor was it bittersweet. I remember it fondly now as a time somewhere between being a child and growing up.
Where will you be spending Christmas?
Things are a little up in the air on this. When you’re separated and have kids, and you’re with someone new, who is separated and has kids, the logistics can be a little challenging. All I can say at this time is that I will be spending some of Christmas with whisky, watching Die Hard, and some with the people I love, assembling Lego and playing novelty board games while eating my body weight in food drenched in MSG. Pretty much the same as everyone else.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Loads. It’s the best time of the year. The tree always goes up on 1st December. I make a picnic for the kids and boil up some mulled wine for myself. We watch The Polar Express while we decorate the tree. When we’re finished I have to pick both kids up – one in each arm – so they can put the star on top at the same time.
I started a thing last year where I put together a box of things for the kids to have on Christmas Eve. Nothing extravagant, just some Christmas pyjamas and socks and sweets and a teddy and some bedding and a game and a light… Christmas Eve is the best. All that anticipation. I thought it would be something fun but they loved it, so that will be a new tradition.
Also, the Michael Bublé Christmas CD goes into the car for the school run. I’m not ashamed.
What was your best ever Christmas present?
I can’t think of a better present I have received at Christmas than my daughter, Phoebe. She squeezed her way into my life the day before that big, bearded man was supposed to shuffle himself down the chimney and it changed everything – especially Christmases. I don’t, actually remember much about her first Christmas as I’d been awake for about three days and was in some hallucinatory haze but it was a better gift than even my noise-cancelling headphones.
This isn’t to say that she is any more special than my son, of course. He is the best New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had.
It’s a very expensive time of year.
What was your worst ever Christmas present?
It was either ’89 or ’90. The Gameboy came out. And I got one. Now, I know that sounds like it should be on my list of best ever presents, and it is, but what happened that Christmas sullied Nintendo’s wonderful innovation.
I have a younger brother. When he was very little, he would cry. About everything. He’s 31 now and much better. He received lots of toys and games that year and I opted to have a smaller pile of presents and invest the money into something more significant. In this case, the Gameboy.
I loved the beep it made when you switched it on and the Tetris music kicked in. Amazing.
I had a few goes. It was brilliant. I was hooked on that tiny green screen. But my little brother wanted a go. So he cried. And my parents made me give it to him.
Then, when I wanted it back, he cried again. And he didn’t stop. So he got to sit with my Gameboy all Christmas. It sucked. Still, I had some new pyjamas and a book and some Lego…
The next day, my parents went out and bought my brother a Gameboy, so that I could have mine back. They said it would have to be his birthday present – obviously it wasn’t because he couldn’t get nothing on his birthday.
Look, the Gameboy was great, but it made that Christmas shit.
On the plus side, I get to remind my mother and brother about it every year, so it’s not all bad.
Favourite Christmas tipple?
I used to like a Snowball but had to stop that a few years back when I went vegan. My favourite is mulled wine/Gluwein. I used to live in Germany as a child and the Christmas markets over there are better than anywhere else. The smell of Gluwein is the scent of Christmas, to me. It brings back those wonderful childhood memories of living in a different country where we always had snow in December and ate mushrooms dipped in garlic mayo while we walked around the stalls and rides at the market.
What are you hoping for this Christmas?
I’m hoping that my latest book, Nothing Important Happened Today, will be at number one on the Sunday Times Bestseller list. I’m hoping that it will snow at some point.
When it comes to gifts, I like getting books (obviously) and clothes that I can work out in. I’m a real gadget fan, I’m sure there will be something new that I don’t really need but would be fun to have. I tend not to want things, though. It’s great when somebody really puts thought into a gift, you know? It doesn’t have to be huge, just thoughtful.
Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?
Be nice. Reach out. Give something back. Take more pleasure in giving. And buy my book.
About Will Carver
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraphand Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts