Cathy Bramley on her favourite Christmas moments

The author talks about the challenge of writing her festive tale Comfort and Joy in the summertime, and the happy memories that helped along the way

Writing a Christmas book in July

Mulled wine always brings back memories of my grandad. He was in charge of making it on Christmas morning. My nanna would be calmly cooking Christmas lunch for sixteen without a murmur, while Grandad, in his apron, would be using evey spoon and pan in the house and leaving a dark red trail of drips all over the kitchen. I loved helping him and would stand at this side and suggest a bit more of this or that until it tasted just right. I still make it now in his honour, even though he's no longer with us.

One year, in a break with tradition, my family went to a party on Christmas Day. I was at university at the time and I remember all us younger contingent helping ourselves to champagne and putting 'Fairytale of New York' by the Pogues on repeat, singing along at the tops of our voices. It's still one of my favourite Christmas songs.

My final memory is of my first Christmas as a mum. My daughter was only six weeks old and I remember looking down at this tiny bundle of scrumptiousness sitting in her car seat fast asleep, and feeling so happy I could burst.

Even as a child, though I didn't realise it at the time, the best moments often aren't the ones which cost the most money, they're the ones in which you're truly experiencing the magic of Christmas. So I'm wishing all my readers a Christmas full of magical moments that you'll treasure for a lifetime.

Merry Christmas!

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