Christmas in the Willoughby household: Holly shares her festive tips and memories

1 Dec, 2022 | Holly's Journal

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Holly with a Christmas “Snowball”

It’s Holly’s favourite time of the year, so we asked her to share some seasonal secrets…

  Growing up did you like the fact that your name was so Christmassy. Is there a Christmas link?

“I grew up with Mrs Christmas for a mother, so I’m not surprised she called me Holly. My sister and I always used to joke that our parents should have called her Ivy. Ha! Can you imagine?! Maybe this is the year Kelly contacts Deed Poll for a name change.”

  What was Christmas like for you growing up, what memories stand out to you the most?

“Christmas was massive in our house. My mum loves Christmas, in fact she loves it so much that one year, on Midsummer’s Day, she put the Christmas tree up on the patio and had a dinner party in the garden, complete with roast turkey and Christmas crackers. Prior to guests arriving, I remember her defrosting the freezer and scraping all the frost off the side of it, ready for Kelly and I to go to the top window and throw the frozen ice out as if it was snowing once everyone was sat down. I mean did you ever hear of such a thing? She’s completely bonkers…and I fear I’m just as bad. Over the summer my Spotify started playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and I thought, you know what, it doesn’t sound bad! It all comes from my mum and dad who are big time into Christmas and the more sparkle, baubles and twinkly lights the merrier.”

Holly and Kelly with Santa

  What inspired the new WYLDE MOON wax melts (borrowed from) Christmas 1985?

“For me, the scent of (borrowed from) Christmas 1985 is the ultimate Christmas smell. One sniff and you’re transported back to all of the best Christmases you’ve ever had – and let’s face it, there’s no Christmas like a 1980’s Christmas! Scents are so powerful they can just take you back to a memory and this one comes with a Shakin’ Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone soundtrack!”

  What’s the significance of the year 1985?

“I went back to Christmas 1985 because it’s the first one that I really remember. I remember my sister Kelly and I had our stockings. I got a perfume scented pen which had a little foam roller on the end that I spent all morning rolling all over me and thinking it was the best thing ever. 1985 was also the year I got the My Little Pony Castle, the most beautiful piece of pink plastic I’d ever seen in my entire life. I had written to Santa asking for it and I remember watching my behavior for months because I was so desperate for it to be under the tree…and it was! It was pure magic in every sense of the word. 1985 was a dreamy Christmas for me, so that’s why I wanted to revisit it.”

  What are your MUST DO rituals around Christmas?

Christmas Eve – everyone is in matching PJ’s and I always read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids even though they laugh at me now, but I still make them sit down and listen.

Christmas Day – Christmas stockings, then a traditional roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, which I absolutely love to cook each year. Even on the years that we’re not at home, I get heavily involved. It’s the most special meal of the year for me. I’m obsessed by Christmas pudding – we can’t be friends if you don’t like Christmas pudding. It’s my ultimate favourite with lashings of brandy butter.

Watching the Queen’s speech was obviously an annual highlight, so it will be very different this year with our new King’s first speech but I’m really looking forward to that. And, of course, a Snowball cocktail or 3 and non-stop Christmas music…fa-la-la-la-la…la-la-laaaa-laaaaaa!”

  Do you have any new family traditions that you and Dan have started with the kids?

“We have a restaurant that we go to when we’re on holiday and they do the most incredible melted Provolone Cheese with Basil Pesto around a Cherry Tomato. It’s one of my favourite dishes and the kids are obsessed with it too. A few years ago, they asked if they could have it as their Christmas day starter, so that’s become a new tradition for us.”

Holly with her Christmas dinner

  Tell us about Christmas morning in the Willoughby/Baldwin household?

“Now the kids are getting older it doesn’t start quite as early, thank goodness. Normally, Chester comes running in first. I like putting the radio on, lighting a candle and listening to Christmas Carols. All the kids bundle onto the bed and we open our stockings together. I immediately forage right to the bottom of mine because Santa always brings me a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, which is how I like to start my Christmas Day – with a very nutritious chocolate orange and a glass of Bucks Fizz! Then the flood gates open and the eating and the festivities continue. It really is eat, drink and be merry!”

  When you think of Christmas what things do you most look forward to?

“I love going into London at Christmas to see all the lights and walking around with the kids, taking it all in. And I adore the annual Christmas Panto. I love going to a carol concert too. The last few years I’ve done a Christmassy train journey with my girlfriends. We get on an old steam train, with carol singers and great food. It’s always really, really lovely.”

Christmas pudding time

  What’s your top Christmas tip for the day?

“I think the more prep you can do the better. We actually stopped sitting down at the table for breakfast on Christmas Day because we’d find that you’d wake up, have breakfast and then you’d have to clean that all away, then immediately start laying the table for lunch. Now, I lay the table on Christmas Eve.  We eat a Christmas Day breakfast round the tree. Dan and I may have smoked salmon on toast and the kids have whatever they want – Nutella on toast or pancakes with Nutella in them. Another key thing to remember is to cook your turkey early, then wrap it in foil to rest. I get the turkey cooking done and out of the way, so it is one less thing to worry about. It doesn’t go cold – you can leave it to rest for like 4 hours. That way it leaves the oven completely empty for all of your potatoes and other trimmings to crisp up rather than steam!”

  What is your Christmas wish this year?

Obviously good health and happiness for everybody. Happiness is so important. I wish people could come together more and be kinder to each other. I feel that people are so divided at the moment and everybody is worried – and when people are worried and scared, sometimes they end up not being very nice to each other. I know it comes from a place of fear but I just really want everyone to take a breath and think of others and how they’re feeling too. In times like this, being part of a community and getting through it all together is the only way.

Fill your home with the scent of Christmas this year with WYLDE MOON’s beautiful (borrowed from) Christmas 1985 wax melts

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