Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - CHRISTMAS TALES -

Model (right), with her sis­ter, Mar­garita (left), and her mum, Zane

2016 was an amaz­ing year for me. I took as many week­ends away from work as I could: Ice­land, Tener­ife, Prague and Cal­i­for­nia. So many lit­tle hol­i­days. I re­ally feel ful­filled this year. I tried to think of my­self and what I ac­tu­ally wanted to do, and just did it. I’m fo­cus­ing on spend­ing money on ex­pe­ri­ences rather than ma­te­rial things.

I love Christ­mas. I think it’s the one time of year where you just spend it with your fam­ily and the peo­ple re­ally close to you; the peo­ple that mean the most to you.

I don’t en­joy the ex­treme build-up to Christ­mas, the com­mer­cial side of it. That side of Christ­mas both­ers me a lit­tle bit. In my fam­ily, we never re­ally worry about presents we get each other lit­tle things. But a card that some­one’s made for me — I re­mem­ber those things for life.

So, in our fam­ily, we just get to­gether and spend our time to­gether. My­self and my brother live in Dublin, and my Mum and my sis­ter live in Wex­ford, so we don’t see each other that of­ten. Christ­mas is our time to­gether. We make a nice din­ner — well, ac­tu­ally, we just have food all day long . . . all week long. And have that time to­gether whether we’re watch­ing movies, or do­ing some art to­gether, or just do­ing ab­so­lutely noth­ing. It’s so homely.

One of my favourite things about Christ­mas is when it’s cold out­side and we are all cosy in­side, and not hav­ing to go to work. We spend most of the day in our py­ja­mas, but then, for Christ­mas din­ner, we would get a lit­tle bit dressed up, and have loads of dishes.

In Latvia, where I’m from, we cel­e­brate Christ­mas on Christ­mas Eve, so on the 24 th, in the evening, that’s when we have the Christ­mas din­ner. It’s not much dif­fer­ent, but we do have a tra­di­tion. When we were younger, on Christ­mas Eve, we’d have our gifts un­der the tree, and then we’d each have to sing a Christ­mas song to get our presents. So we’d have to sing a song and then we’d get our gift, and we still do. Christ­mas Day for us, it’s just loung­ing, re­lax­ing, eat­ing and more eat­ing.

Con­tin­ued on page 30

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