Friday, 25 April 2014
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ni4families

Christmas 2012 & New Year 2012

What’s your idea of a perfect Christmas and what are you hoping Santa will leave under your tree this year? Ni4kids asks some well known local families how they will be spending Christmas 2012.

Pete Snodden, Cool FM afternoon show presenter

“I love catching up with friends and family as well visiting the Belfast Christmas Market. I just can’t get enough of that Christmassy feeling! Christmas morning will be ‘Santa time’ and it will be Ivana’s (who is almost 2) first proper Christmas that she can really appreciate. My mum and dad will be with us around midday and we will spend the afternoon together before sitting down for Christmas dinner. In the evening we plan to head out to Ballynahinch to visit Julia’s brother, mum and dad, and extended family. The night will no doubt finish with me falling asleep on the sofa before waking up and getting stuck into a midnight feast of turkey and stuffing sandwiches!

“Julia and I love reading to Ivana so I have been online ordering lots of books for her. We are also treating her to a scooter and toy kitchen. She loves music, just like her dad, so we’ll be sure to buy her Mr Tumble’s new album and, like Julia, Ivana loves dressing up so clothes will be on Santa’s list too. My mum and dad will also have her spoilt rotten. Gifts for us? Julia and I love our trips away so instead of giving each other gifts this year we will probably organise a weekend away to London.”


Claire McCollum, Broadcaster

“We fully embrace the festive season in our house. Not only do we celebrate Christmas we also have two birthdays. My daughter Rosa will be 4 on December 27, and my son Samuel will be 6 on December 29. Believe me it wasn't planned that way! I do think a lot of people feel sorry for us but my husband Ally and I have always loved Christmas so this time of year is now even more special. With both birthdays just a few days after Santa has been it does seem like we are opening presents for a whole week but it's just magical seeing their little faces and sharing their excitement.

“Present wise Samuel is hoping Santa can find a Hot Wheels track with colour changing cars and Rosa would love a Barbie Holiday Boat and anything pink and sparkly. I'm also secretly hoping Santa brings her a Cabbage Patch doll. I adored mine when I was little and would probably get as much enjoyment out of a new one in the house!

“This year we'll be spending Christmas Day with Ally's parents and then my sister and her family will be home from England to celebrate New Year with us. It might be hectic but it's a wonderful time and we are very lucky we can all celebrate together.”

Caroline Fleck, producer and presenter of Downtown Radio's midday show.

“I resort to being a kid at Christmas - I just love the whole festive season. The tree, carols, smells and sights... everything! Nothing beats that cosy, warm escapism that the holidays bring. I also enjoy spending quality time with family and friends.

“I will have the whole family round to my home this year; my brother and his family, my mum, and my extended family. We will be up early on Christmas morning for a big breakfast, followed by church. Later on we will tuck into the full traditional dinner before all the usual silly games. I will also be cooking a meal on Christmas Eve with friends and family calling in throughout the evening.

“My son Jack is 14 now so more grown-up things are on his Christmas list like extending his own studio with new speakers, recording programmes and sample decks. What will Santa be leaving for me? I will ask for Brad again this year but failing that a Kindle!”


Denise Watson, Sports presenter and reporter at BBC NI
This year I’ll be spending Christmas at home with my husband David and kids Samantha and Elizabeth. We are very excited. Christmas starts December 1 with a trip to see Santa at Mount Stewart then we bake buns and cakes and get ready for the church carol service and parties. On the day itself we will cook dinner at home so the girls can play with their pressies. I’m not a great cook so David helps me out! He does great roast potatoes!

“Our Christmas wish list? Beth is 4 so anything with Minnie Mouse or Peppa Pig she will squeal about. Sam (7) goes through books with a black marker and has a list as long as my arm! But one thing I did notice was her wanting a wig to look like Jessie J which I think is very sweet. Moshi Monsters seem to be the cool thing for kids as well. I have no idea why though!

“A family tradition that I loved as a child was home cooked food. My mum Sabina made everything from her own stuffing and Christmas pudding to the bread sauce. I try to make as much as possible without resorting to the ready-made things. But it’s so easy nowadays to pick up yummy food in a flash. I also loved getting an apple and an orange in my stocking so I do that for the girls. But Sam did look at me strangely and questioned why Santa gave her fruit!”


Alan Campbell, Rower and 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner

“For the first time ever I'm not spending Christmas at my mum and dad’s in Coleraine, instead they're coming to Somerset to spend Christmas with Juliet's parents and us as I'm still going to have to train.

“Jules and I still haven't taken the plunge to have little terrors yet but I'm really hoping Santa’s going to bring some Lego StarWars for me and I think Jules is hoping for a mulberry bag.


“Christmas is the most magical time of the year. I love it and when I'm the daddy I'm going to insist on a real tree, church on Christmas Day, a big Christmas dinner, watching the Bond movie on Boxing Day and most importantly leaving Santa out cookies, milk and carrots for his reindeer.”



Khara Pringle, Award Winning Photographer

“It’s been crazy busy the past few months as I’ve recently moved into a new studio with my friend and Ireland’s leading make-up artist, Paddy McGurgan. I’m really looking forward to some downtime this Christmas with my daughter Ayria, partner Bradley Quinn and my family in Dundalk. It’s Ayria’s first Christmas and it will also be the first Christmas for everyone with a baby in the household so it’s really exciting this year.

“I adore this time of year, I think it is just such a special time. I love the way it connects you directly to memories of your childhood and I love the warmth of family and feeling of security that it brings.

“Like other busy working mums it can be difficult to make time for Christmas shopping, I still have no idea what to get Ayria as she’s only 5 months old, although I love reading to her so I’ll maybe buy her lots of books. My new studio is based in Royal Avenue so it’s really handy to nip to the shops!”

Maurice Jay presents the Breakfast Show on U105 and is the Programme Director for the station. He has two young boys, Evan (nearly 6) and Riley (nearly 4)

Bit of a change for us this year as it’s maternal grandmother’s house for Christmas; everyone will be waking up there and hopefully Santa will have received the letters of temporary change of address! Nothing like Nana’s cooking of the Christmas dinner.

Evan has asked for a Bike, a Polar Express Train, a chocolate coin making machine and anything to do with aeroplanes. Riley is a little actor, and it’s all super heroes outfits and toys.

We don't have any real family traditions as such, other than a bit of a routine in visiting relatives. It will be a sad day in some ways for myself and my sister, as our mother passed away this year and her house was always first stop on Christmas morning; where all the children, grandchildren and indeed great grandchildren would have gathered, but Granny Apples as my boys knew her will be there in spirit.

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