To kick start our Mini Christmas Interviews on Books for Little Hands, I'd like to give a warm welcome to Australian author, Josie Montano.
How did you celebrate Christmas as a child?
I was brought up in an Italian family therefore we had 'panettone' which is Italian Christmas cake, and lots and lots of food on christmas day but not traditional ham, turkey etc. We had home-made lasagna, roast chicken and potatoe in Italian herbs, etc, about 5 courses. Then everyone would have a sleep, then a walk, then start again with seafood of the evening!
We always put up a christmas tree and I remember being quite the ADHD (or possibly OCD!) child and spending hours under that tree - shaking, prodding, feeling, listening to the wrapped presents, trying my hardest to guess what was in them. I have become such an expert over the years that I can now guess what my presents are and my family hate it!
We have christmas stockings for each person in the house, so we always give each a major present but then fill the stockings with little presents/surprises - after breakfast we sit in the loungeroom and take turns pulling a gift from our stocking and opening it, it's quite a round robin event, and in the end we are surrounded by christmas wrapping - the dog has a ball playing in it all!
Have you celebrated Christmas in another country?
Yes I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in Italy when I was 11 years old. It was very different, they had their first snow fall on that christmas eve for the winter, so a white christmas was fantastical.
In Italy Santa is called 'Babo Natale' but he doesn't really give out presents, children have to wait until 6 January for 'La Befana' which is a witch who travels the world giving out gifts. It was my first 'La Befana' and I received presents as well as a piece of fake coal (soap) which apparently was one of the original gifts 'La Befana' would hand out (obviously it was a precious commodity in the villages!).
What will you be reading over Christmas?
I will be reading a YA novel titled Linked Through Time by Jessica Tornese, a fellow Solstice Publishers author - we are reviewing each others YA novels.