Todays Christmas post is going to melt your heart, it features Johana Gustawsson and her beautiful family. It’s hard to imagine this author writes such gory, gritty crime thrillers 😂.
This is my last post for Christmas With Orenda books, I’m feeling a bit sad, I loved reading theses posts and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them too.
What is your favourite Christmas memory?
It was the first Christmas I spent with my husband in France, back in 2011. He finally joined my family celebration in Aubagne, south of France. It was a very simple Christmas, just my parents, my sister, her soon-to-husband and their puppy, but it was a Christmas full of love, celebrating new beginnings.
Where will you be spending Christmas?
In Vikingland, Stockholm, at my sister-in-law’s place. My eldest and his cousin still believe in Santa so we will make it magical for them. I’m not sure the twins will grasp the concept at only two years old, but I think we will be in for a good laugh!
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
It depends on where we celebrate Christmas: if it’s Sweden, we follow the Swedish tradition where the big event is on Christmas’ eve lunch, with the famous smörgåsbord, a buffet with Swedish delicacies like herring, pork sausages and beetroot and cream salad, followed by the opening of the gifts which Santa delivers right when the boys are going to look for him in the neighbourhood!
If we are celebrating it in France, the big celebration takes place on Christmas’ eve dinner with foie gras, oysters, turkey and bûche de Noël, the traditional French Christmas cake. Santa then comes during the night and we open gifts on the 25th the morning. And if we are in London, we are doing a mix of it all!
What was your best ever Christmas present?
It was not a present made to me, but it was the arrival of the first dog in the family: in 2011, my sister and her future husband got a miniature pinscher, Honey. She was just 2 months old at the time and she was such a cute puppy! She is the only one who appears on the Christmas movies and photos!
What was your worst ever Christmas present?
I cannot think of anything! I can tell you though that we have a silly tradition in my husband’s family: my husband’s cousin and his wife got some very ugly wedding presents back in 2005, and one of those is a small flower pot in the shape of a very weird dragon/squirrel that they try to offer back to us every Christmas and that we of course give back the next Christmas. So you have to be very inventive in wrapping it, so that the person opening has no clue about the content of the box. We have had so many laughs with it! They are the ones having it now, so let’s see what they come up with this year!
Favourite Christmas tipple?
Glögg, the Swedish version of mulled wine, sweeter and with almonds flakes and raisins. Perfect with some gingerbread biscuits topped with blue cheese (stilton is the perfect match!).
What are you hoping for this Christmas?
To have my first holidays where the twins sleep!
Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?
Thank you all for your unconditional support which makes my writing experience and path all so emotional and joyful. Wishing you all a wonderful celebration with your family and your friends, the family we choose.
About Johana Gustawsson
Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, including Block 46, Keeper and, soon to be published, Blood Song, has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons.
Books published by Orenda Books
My thanks to Johana Gustawsson for writing this post and for allowing me to share photos from her personal collection. A huge thank you to Karen Sullivan for all her help with the feature, for the fab giveaway and to all the authors who took part.