Today we have a #BloggerInTheFestiveSpotlight – and it’s me!

After asking lots of authors about their Festive favourites over the past couple of months, I thought it
was maybe time I told you about my favourites. Obviously I haven’t written a book
to tell you about, but I’ve answered the rest of the questions.

First of all, a little about me

I’m Joanne and I live in Portobello, the seaside part of Edinburgh. I am married with two daughters, who are in their twenties. I’ve been blogging since April 2015 and have made many friends in the bookish world both online and in real life. It’s a great privilege to be given the opportunity to read and review books ahead of publication. Over the past 18 months, it’s been great to be able to attend lots of events online which I probably wouldn’t have been able to attend in real life. I am involved in organising our local free book festival, Portobello Book Festival, which we managed to run in our local library this year after being online last year.

Do you still keep any Christmas traditions from your childhood?

So I’m going to cheat a little bit here and sneak in what is actually my favourite Christmas film! I used to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with my dad when I was younger and now watch it every year with my own family. It’s very important that it’s written on the calendar. We usually watch the black & white version, since that’s what it was originally filmed in, but we have watched the colourised version too and it wasn’t as strange as I thought it might be. I love the message that no-one is a failure if they have friends.

Other traditions I have kept since childhood is that I always have an Advent candle and calendar. You’re never too old for an Advent calendar!

How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?

After such a strangely quiet time last year, I am hoping that we will be able to celebrate more normally this year. Christmas Day is usually quite busy with presents being opened first thing with my family, then going to Church in the morning. My mother-in-law usually comes for smoked salmon and scrambled egg croissants at lunch time, then my mum comes for a traditional Christmas meal later. Hopefully there will be time to watch the Strictly Christmas Special but if not, it will be recorded to watch later!

Strictly Christmas Special 2019 - Bradford Zone | TV FEATURES 2019

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

See above! I have several films I just have to watch each festive season though – Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally, The Snowman to name just a few. However, for this question I’m going to choose another film which we watch every Christmas Eve with some hot chocolate – The Polar Express.

The Polar Express

And a favourite Christmas song?

I am a big fan of Christmas songs and the Michael Bublé Christmas album is a firm favourite. However, my absolute favourite Christmas song is Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song. I just love the smoothness of his voice and the mellow music.

Do you have a favourite Christmas book?

I think it would have to be Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington. It’s inspired by and has parallels to the film It’s A Wonderful Life and I just loved it.

What Christmas book are you looking forward to reading this year?

By the time I put out this post, I will likely have read all my Christmas books for this year. At the time of writing this, I have around 15 Christmas or seasonal books on my to-be-read list! You’ll just have to have a look at my reviews to see how much I have enjoyed them.

How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?

You’ll find me on Twitter and Instagram where I’m @portybelle and I have a Facebook page for the blog too.

And finally, what’s the best Christmas present you ever received?

I have now realised just what a cruel question this is! My mind has gone completely blank but I know that I have had wonderful presents over the years. I am always more than happy with books, chocolate, wine and toiletries these days. One present I do remember from when I was little was a Tiny Tears doll which I loved. It even came with hand-made knitted clothes which Santa had arranged for my mum to make especially for the doll!

Vintage Tiny Tears Doll in SL6 Maidenhead for £20.00 for sale | Shpock

As it’s now Christmas Eve and I’ve got a film to watch, I’d like to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas,
whatever you may do to celebrate.

8 thoughts on “Today we have a #BloggerInTheFestiveSpotlight – and it’s me!

  1. Awww! I had a tiny tears doll! 💖 I have fond memories of new dolls at Christmas!

    I love hearing about the traditions of others! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Merry Christmas in Portobello and thanks for sharing your favourite festive films and book. I do love the atmosphere Christmas movies contribute to a winter Christmas, growing up where Christmas was in summer it really wasn’t part of our summer ritual but on cold dark nights they’re just great. 🕯️✨🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how that Dickensian snowy Christmas seems so dominant when it’s the opposite for half the world! Merry Christmas to you 📚🎄


  3. I’ve become a bit addicted to Christmas Reads this year and don’t want them to stop. I’m making the next one my last so I’d better make it a good one (I bought 2 more this morning!) Have a great Christmas and all the best for the coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am squeezing in one last one. I won a copy of Jenny Colgan’s Christmas at the Island Hotel which arrived a couple of days ago so I’ve settled down to read it today.

      Liked by 1 person

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