1. Introduce yourself, tell us about you, what you do, why did you start blogging?
I’m Amy Harris. I’m a 20-year-old Media, Communication and Cultural Studies student at Newcastle University and a freelance writer. I love reading, writing, watching lots of Netflix and I absolutely love Christmas! I started blogging because I love to write and found an interest in the blogging community. The idea of sharing my thoughts and tips on particular topics I really enjoyed. At first, I used to write about a lot of beauty products, but now I’m finding enjoyment in writing more about lifestyle subjects, such as life at university, dealing with mental health, book reviews and sharing my favourite things from Netflix to songs.
2. How do you spend Xmas day?
When I was younger we had a very traditional Christmas. On Christmas Day it would be parents and myself, and then on Boxing Day we would go to my grandparents’ house and see the rest of my family, open all our presents from everyone and spend all day together playing Christmas games, playing with our toys and eating left over Christmas dinner and desserts my grandma has made. Then around three years ago we decided we would go away for Christmas and have a holiday instead. So, my parents, my mum’s brother and his family and myself would fly to Lanzarote and spend the Christmas holidays there. We would have a Christmas dinner in the villa and watch loads of movies and play Christmas games, but it would just be somewhere warm instead. However, this year we are doing something different again and spending Christmas back home. We aren’t sure what the plan is yet, but it will probably involve a lot of Christmas films, chocolate, Uno, a huge Christmas dinner and prosecco.
3. Best money saving tip for Xmas?
Plan your Christmas presents early. I’m that one last-minute shopper so I know how stressful it can get. Everything becomes so expensive to buy when you are in a rush you don’t get chance to shop around and choose the best deals. So, I would recommend planning what you want to buy people in advance and then look and shop around for the best deals. If you are a student, make sure to use your student discount.
4. What present would you love to receive if money was no object?
Now that I’m older I’m not so bothered about Christmas presents. The things I want at the moment aren’t really money based and are more based on wishes and luck, such as getting a job after university and being able to afford to have my own place, but if I was to have one present it would either be a car so I could get about more easily and not rely on the trains so much or it would be another trip with my parents. I love visiting new places with my parents so if I could have a present it would be a paid trip to somewhere warm and I’d get to take my parents.
5. Breakfast on Xmas morning usually consists of?
We don’t eat a lot on Christmas morning as we want to save ourselves for our big lunch all the trimmings! But it does consist of an early Bucks Fizz and a toast.
6. Do you do anything special on Xmas Eve to celebrate?
When I was a child my dad would take me on to the front lawn and we would leave carrots for the reindeers and mince pies and a sherry for Santa, but now that I’m 20 we knew things a little bit differently. If we were away in Lanzarote we would spend it drinking cocktails in our favourite bar, then have a meal with all of us together and a movie night. Now that it is our first year back home I’m not sure what we will do this year. However, it may involve going down to the pub for a mulled wine and seeing some of the family, before a cosy dinner at home and a Christmas movie.
7. Favourite Xmas song and why?
Oh this is a hard question! I love Christmas songs! Even in November I’m blasting Spotify’s Christmas playlists. I can’t pick just one, so I’d have to say ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham and ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey as they are absolute classics. They are the songs that are always played in shops, at Christmas markets and on the radio. When they are played it puts me in the Christmas spirit.
8. Favourite festive film?
I have a few Christmas favourites, so I’m not going to be able to just choose one, but I’ll reduce it down to three. My favourites are The Grinch, The Holiday and Elf. To me ‘Elf’ was always the film they put on at school when it was the end of term and always reminded us that it was Christmas time and the Christmas Holidays, so now whenever I put it on it always reminds me of the end of term and the beginning of Christmas. ‘The Holiday’ is just a great film, full of cute funny scenes and is such a feel-good film. The Grinch is just hilarious, and I always watch it when I’m back home. There are so many great Christmas films that picking one is impossible!
9. Who do you spend Xmas with?
I spend Christmas with my parents, the dog Billy and my uncle, aunt and two cousins. It is the seven of us and the dogs. We used to spend Christmas with all the family all together when I was younger, as Boxing Day used to be the time I’d see everyone from my family all in one place but after my grandparents passed away they weren’t there to host everybody again. So, we have created a new tradition where we do a Christmas bar crawl around the town we live and a Christmas meal with all the family. We may not spend Boxing Day together anymore, but we make sure we all see each other over Christmas. Especially as us young ones have all grown up now and moved away for university and jobs. It is a time we all get to re-connect and spend time together.
10. What does Christmas mean to you? Do you think we have lost the original meaning of Christmas?
I’m a huge fan of Christmas! Like a huge fan, I love all the Christmas lights, Christmas movies, songs, and generally this time of year, so to me Christmas is a fun time of year where I get to listen to the best songs, watch the best movies and decorate the house like Christmas threw up haha! But Christmas also means going back to my family. Travelling back home from university to spend quality time with all my family. It is a very family orientated time for me, but I do think the original meaning of Christmas has been lost due to the commodification of Christmas. Now it is all about gift giving and spending money when it shouldn’t be about how much money is spent or who gets what present. It’s a shame that Christmas has become such a money generating scheme and a reason to show off what you’ve been given. I’m just happy with the decorations, films and songs!
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