Seeing that Christmas Day is just around the corner, I wanted to write another post related to the season. After six years of blogging, I was short of new ideas, though. My solution involved no creativity whatsoever, since I just googled Christmas-related tags. The Christmas Book Blogger Tag, created by Rachel from the blog Confessions of a Book Geek, which I had never heard of before, seemed interesting, so I decided to answer as many questions as I could.
What is your favourite Christmas scene in a book?
I don’t tend to read many books solely set during Christmas. I think I’ve only read a handful of them; thus, I’m picking one from a very limited sample. The Christmas scene that is the most vivid in my mind at the moment is the one in The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, so I’m considering it my favourite for this tag, though the book is only partially set at this time of the year. The main character in this novel, Melanie, and her siblings have a very different Christmas than the one they were used to. After the death of their parents, they had to go live with their brutish uncle Philip, a toymaker in London.
Do you have any Christmas book traditions?
I wish I had an impressive answer to this question. But I, sadly, don’t. Maybe I should start one next year…
Do you prefer to get presents of book vouchers or books?
I never say no to books. Either is great! However, nowadays, I think I prefer book vouchers, so I can personally pick a few from my extensive wish list. Also, if I end up not liking them, I only have myself to blame.
Do you give books as presents?
Occasionally, but only to people I know at least mildly enjoy reading or children.
What bookish item is on your Christmas wish list?
I don’t have any bookish item on my Christmas wish list this year. Something I would like to have, but that doesn’t exist, is a Game of Thrones Lego. Legos were my favourite toys growing up and I would love to build Winterfell! I have no idea why they don’t exist… It’s a flaw in the market!
What 3 books would you love Santa to have in his sack for you?
I usually only have one edition of each book I own. In the latest years, I bought new editions of books that I had already read and owned for the only reason that I wanted to read them again but in the original, having read the translations into Portuguese beforehand. Even so, I didn’t keep both of them. I passed the translations on to other people. There are other three books I would love to replace for a much shallower reason, though. My editions of Emma, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen are horrid. I would love to replace them with the Vintage Classics Austen Series editions. They would be an amazing gift, wouldn’t they?
Fake Christmas tree or real Christmas tree?
I have a fake Christmas tree. In fact, I bought a new one this year, which I found on discount. When I got home, I realised that it is the biggest tree I’ve ever owned. It’s not massive, but it looked much smaller at the supermarket. The real ones you can get in some countries like the UK are beautiful, though.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
As an atheist whose family (at least the members I’m closer to) consists mostly of non-practising Catholics, my Christmases have never been particularly religious. As a child, we just used to set up a small nativity scene next to the tree and that was it. We never went to mass during this time of the year or anything like that. Christmas for me is all about the food, decorations, chocolate and presents!
What Christmas book would you recommend?
Since I haven’t read many Christmas books, I’m going to go with the obvious classic – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens!
What dish on your Christmas menu are you most looking forward to?
The most important part of Christmas in Portugal is the Christmas Eve dinner. We always eat boiled (salted and dried) codfish accompanied with boiled potatoes, cabbage and eggs, all seasoned with (extra virgin!) olive oil, as per tradition in my region. The meal is very healthy… until we get to the desserts! Just give me all the tasty desserts! The one I’m most looking forward to is “filhós”, because it’s generally only made around this time of the year. It is a deep-fried dough that is sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. My maternal grandmother made amazing ones before her health worsened and she passed away four years ago. Now they are still good but never as delicious. We need to practise more!
When do you open your Christmas presents?
On Christmas Eve around midnight. So, basically in the first minutes of 25 December.
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
I don’t tend to like Christmas songs, they mostly annoy me, so I don’t have a favourite.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Not really, mainly because the possibility of snowing where I live is close to zero, although it does snow sometimes in other places in Portugal (the Estrela mountain range and up north next to Spain). I would prefer a bit of snow to the weather we have been having, to be honest. After almost a year of severe drought, it has been raining almost every day for more than a month. And there is no prediction for when the rain will stop falling. After Christmas, I’m ready for summer, when I’ll probably be complaining about the more than likely heatwaves.
Tell me all about your Christmas traditions and wishes in the comments! Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal!