To celebrate the release of her new book One Day in December, we asked author Josie Silver to let us in on some of the things she loves most about the festive period! Here, she lets us in on her 10 favourite things about Christmas...

Author Josie Silver / Photo Credit: Justine Stoddart
Author Josie Silver / Photo Credit: Justine Stoddart

1. Christmas cards. I think I prefer the cards to the gifts - mail is so often junk or bills, but at Christmas the odd jewel red envelope is amongst them too, a sign that someone has thought of you. I love old-fashioned mail communication; it's so much more romantic than email, isn't it! Bring back love letters and postcards.

2. The books. There's something especially appealing about Christmas book covers. I like to stand in front of the wall of them in the supermarket or bookstore and look at all of the different styles and images - it's the only time of the year when romance wins hands down over thrillers!

3. The music. Oh Noddy Holder, my heart skips a beat whenever you yell IT'S CHRISTMAS! I love all Christmas tunes, from Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey, from Silent Night to Santa Baby. My absolute favourite? Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea. Turn it up loud and sing your heart out.

4. The lights. The nights are at their longest, the winter at its deepest, so the festive lights are very welcome to fill the rooms with a soft glow. Is there anything prettier than a room lit by the Christmas tree? We've recently moved to a house with a bigger garden, I'm looking forward to adding some lights out there too - I'm aiming for a winter wonderland.

5. The get-togethers. We live in such a disparate way now - families and friends see less of each other than ever before, due in part to social media taking the place of meeting up properly. Christmas is a great time to get together over coffee and mince pies or a G&T, a time to deliver that hug in person, to unexpectedly see people you haven't seen in a while and remember how much you miss them.

6. The movies. Oh, I know they're schmaltzy. I know they're unrealistic sometimes. But let me say it loud and proud - I LOVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES. Love Actually, The Holiday, The Grinch, Bridget Jones, Miracle on 34th Street... in fact, just give me a sofa, the Hallmark Christmas channel and leave me there with a bowl of popcorn and some Christmas socks. I'm good.

7. The food. There's no other time of the year when it's acceptable to eat your own body weight in Matchmakers, is there? We have an 'Opening of the Quality Street' ceremony in our house (and it's HARD to find a proper tin these days, the plastic ones just won't do!), and I can't peel a clementine without thinking of Christmas. That smell! And then there is, of course, the mighty turkey. Any other day I'd prefer chicken if I'm honest, but Christmas just isn't Christmas without a golden, steaming turkey.

8. The mood. Queues and money aside, Christmas just puts people in a better mood, doesn't it? It's okay to be a bit silly, to smile at a stranger on the street, to kiss a policeman on the beat at midnight on NYE. Light heartedness abounds.

9. Boxing Day. We have a tradition on Boxing Day - we go nowhere and see no one. Every other day of the yuletide season is busy busy busy - on December 26th we lock the doors, light the fire, and hunker down. We started to do it when the kids were little so they could have an uninterrupted day playing with their new toys, and even though they're teenagers now, we've stuck with it because we just love it. No one gets dressed - Christmas PJ's are a must, as is a slow and gradual slide towards a food and Baileys coma in front of Mary Poppins. Bliss.

10. Carol services. We aren't a religious family - we only ever usually go to church for weddings and funerals, but there's something about a Christmas Carol service that calls to me. We've moved recently, coincidentally close to the church we married in. This year I'm really looking forward to putting on our winter coats and heading round there to sing Christmas songs with our neighbours - I'm going to take a few minutes to count our blessings.

Merry Christmas everyone. May your days be merry and bright.

Josie Silver's new book One Day in December is available now, at £7.99.