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Milly Johnson is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, poet, columnist, joke-writer, radio presenter-in-training and winner of Come Dine With Me. She likes cruising on big ships, owls, Pellers Ice Wine, shopping for handbags in Venice, Ikea meatballs, the sea and having her hair done. She hates marzipan, doing accounts and sandpaper. Her novels are about the universal issues of friendship, family, betrayal, babies, rather nice food and a little bit of that magic in life that sometimes visits the unsuspecting.

afternoon-tea-at-the-sunflower-cafe-9781471140464_hrHer latest book is Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe. You can buy it here.

Milly has terrific tips for aspiring authors on her website so pop over for a visit. You can also follow her on twitter here. Today Milly shares with us her favourite Christmas tradition, one she could not do without.

By Milly Johnson

On the 1st of December every year, my sons and I go out to buy the Christmas tree so the house is decorated ready for the 3rd December, my younger son’s birthday.  And every year we buy one which is far too big and every year we have to struggle to get it in the car – it never fits and hangs out of the boot - and then we have to drape things from it so other cars don’t run into the back of it.  We never learn.

It takes all three of us to drag it into the house and screw it into the stand. Then we dress it and it never looks as classically colour coordinated as the trees in magazines do because the decorations are a mix of the swanky new and the memory filled.  There are two red felt stockings which my sons knitted at primary school, a paper Robin, an angel with very scraggy wings made from a paper doily and something that looks like a spaceship made from an egg carton recess stuffed with purple tinsel.  I never did found out what it was supposed to be.  But it’s dear and familiar – and as much as a jumble sale as the tree might look to others, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have a favourite family Christmas tradition?

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