Julie Cohen: I'm an author and a mum, an American living in the UK. My latest book is called GETTING AWAY WITH IT and my website is http://www.julie-cohen.com
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I only like egg nog if it's got a lot of booze in it, so it's probably safer to give me hot chocolate ;-)
2. Snow – love it or hate it? I love snow, though now that I live in England I don't see that much of it! We had several inches this past winter and it shut down the entire country for a week.
3. Christmas shopping – when do you start? December 18th, though in most cases it's right up till when the shops shut on Christmas Eve.
4. When do you start decorating? Near the beginning of December.
5. Do you decorate outside? No, though sometimes we put some lights in our windows.
6. Real or artificial tree? We haven't had a tree here for ages, because we go to my parents' in Maine for Christmas, and they always have a gorgeous real tree that they cut themselves from our friends' tree farm.
7. Coloured or white lights on tree? I like coloured lights.
8. Do you have a favourite ornament? My mother made me a pink velvet and rhinestone ornament when I was of an age where I wanted to be a princess. For ironic value, I still love the Star of David I made out of popsicle sticks one year (our family is Jewish, but we celebrate Christmas).
9. What sits on top of your tree? An old-fashioned Father Christmas.
10. Do you hang mistletoe? Whenever I can! I love mistletoe, and they sell it in big bunches in the outdoor market here.
11. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? We sometimes open one gift.
12. What kind of cookies do you set out for Santa? Whatever we've made recently, which is usually a sugar cookie or a ginger nut.
13. What is your favourite Christmas tradition? My mother's turkey stuffing. It is the food of the gods. I also like driving around my parents' neighbourhood on Christmas eve, giving the lighting displays marks out of ten.
14. What is your favourite Christmas dessert? Pumpkin pie, though my aunts make something absolutely amazing and different every year.
15. Do you cook Christmas dinner or go to a family member’s house? We go to my parents' house, though in the past I've cooked duck or pheasant for Christmas dinner, to be different.
16. Favourite holiday memory as a child? When Santa gave me an electric typewriter and I immediately started writing my first novel on it, still in my pyjamas, under the tree!
17. Favourite holiday memory as an adult? My son was born two days before Christmas, and on his first evening on earth, carollers came into the hospital. They stood around my son's cot and sang him "Silent Night" as he slept. Twelve months before, I'd miscarried on Christmas morning. Listening to the song and gazing at my newborn child was one of the most profound experiences of my life.
18. What was the best gift you received and who gave it to you? My son.
19. What is your favourite Christmas carol? I really love belting out "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".
20. What is your favourite Christmas movie? It's a toss-up between The Grinch and The Muppet Christmas Carol.