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If you could put one thing under the Christmas tree this year, what would it be?

Easy – the whole of my New Zealand family. My big brother, my lovely sister in law, their three children, and their dog.

My parents are old and frail. they can no longer travel on long haul flights to visit the other half of our clan and miss them dearly. Trouble is that 5 return fares from Auckland to London cost a lot of money so when we do see them it’s usually in dribs and drabs as they can never all afford to come at the same time. So the thought of waking up on Christmas day and drifting sleepily downstairs to find a room full of excited Kiwis dressed in shorts, T shirts and flip flops (They always do this, despite the English winter temperatures) would be quite simply brilliant.

My nephews would be raiding the kitchen cupboards for exotic English snacks like Quavers and mini rolls. My niece would once again be confused and bemused by the fact that my mum’s kitchen has a washing machine in it… (back home in Auckland they have a separate washroom and the cooking area is no place for the laundry!)

I’d take my brother (Still dressed in shorts but this time probably with boots and a sweat shirt as well) to our favourite local pub down by the waterside in Milford where he’d drink quite a few local ales and make me laugh a lot.

My mum would thrive on all the busyness of having extra people to cater for at dinner time and enjoy stressing over what to feed 5 vegetarians for Christmas dinner before rustling up something magnificent and feeling quite pleased with herself.

My sister in law and I would spend several enjoyable hours sipping wine and catching up on all of the news. – She would also want a full run down of what is and has been happening in Coronation street as they are several seasons behind back home. – This is not something I could help her with but luckily my mum could win Mastermind with this topic.

My mother would also get to fuss over her son, and all of her grandchildren,

My brother would get to lie on the bed next to my dad who can barely get up now and tell him about what’s been happening in his life, or if he’s too tired to talk, to just be with him.

My daughter would get to meet the remaining Aunty and cousin she has never seen, and also get to know the others she has met, a little better.

And I would get to step back and watch them all; and quite simply It would be the best Christmas ever.

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