Another day closer to Christmas, and personally I can’t wait, I’m one of those people who just love to give presents. If you are still frantically running around looking for gifts, sorry I can’t help you there! but I can encourage you to put your feet up, grab a mince pie and a glass of sherry and see what author Roxanne Bouchard had to say when I put my Christmassy questions to her.
What is your favourite Christmas memory?
In December 2011, I was crew on a sailboat near Bequay, which is a little island South of St-Vincent in the Carribean. My skipper and I were invited, by a sailor’s group in a little cottage for Chrismas Eve. When I arrived, a new friend came to me with a box.
—Do you mind wearing the red suit and playing Santa Claus for my two kids? They know all our friends and I’m afraid they will recognize them. So, if you don’t mind…
In the night, near the lamppost, he gave me the box.
—Here’s the kit.
He showed me a little house on the other side of the gravel road.
—Maybe you can ask there to put the suit on. Thank you!
I crossed the gravel road and walked to the little house. There were two old women a little drunk on the patio.
— Merry Chrismas, ladies, may I put a Santa’s outfit on in the house, please?
—Go to the bedroom!
They showed me the room and I went there alone. I took a pillow in the bed and I dressed myself. When I came back in the kitchen and then, in the patio, I found the place empty. The old women had strangely left me alone in the house.
I walked to the party, knocked on the cottage’s door and did Santa’ s job with the kids. Then, I left the place to the little house to take off the suit.
But when I arrived on the gravel road, I understood why the old women had left the house: there were a lot of neighbors with kids along the road! They were all there… to see the real Santa Claus walking on the island!
What was your best ever Christmas present?
Each year, my mother and father bless me. Still, at 47, I kneel to receive this precious gift.
What was your worst ever Christmas (story about a) present?
When I was young, my parents gave me a small oven for kids in which, I cooked my first chocolate cake. But just after my first recipe, my older brother came to me and said:
— I’m curious about your oven…
He took it in his hands. That same brother had, a week earlier, sawed in half his GI Joe figure to know how it was made.
— You know what? I have an idea! We’ll unscrew the back panel, just to see how it works, O.K.?
He went in the workshop and came back with a screwdriver and pliers.
I have never been able to cook another cake in that oven, but my older brother became a really great engineer.
Favourite Christmas tipple?
In Quebec, we have Caribou. There is a legend that this alcohol is originally made with caribou’s blood. Don’t worry: today, we make it with wine or port. This is an aromatic alcohol that we can drink cold or hot.
• 30 ml (2 c. à soupe) de brandy
• 30 ml (2 c. à soupe) de vodka
• 75 ml (1/3 tasse) de porto
• 75 ml (1/3 tasse) de xérès
Put the ingredients in a pot, heat a little and enjoy.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
For the past few years, on Chrismas Eve, my husband make a fire outside and the whole family goes out to drink a glass of warm caribou in the winter night.
Where will you be spending Christmas?
In Joliette, Quebec, with my family.
What are you hoping for this Christmas?
I hope all the family will be together and healthy.
Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?
May I suggest something?
I suggest that everyone send a Christmas card to someone who is alone to offer solidarity and a little warmth in this peaceful night.
About Roxanne Bouchard
French-Canadian Roxanne Bouchard is a multi-award-winning author and playwright from Quebec, Canada, and We Were the Salt of the Sea is her first novel to be published in English. She is currently writing an essay on literary creativity, and plotting the next Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès investigation, which will be published in English in 2020. Follow Roxanne on Twitter @RBouchard72 and on her website:
Books published by Orenda Books
My thanks to Roxanne Bouchard for writing this post and taking part in this feature.
The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.
To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄