Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Exclusive Interviews -

TV pre­sen­ter and health en­tre­pre­neur STACEY HOL­LAND, 35, lives with her hus­band Warren in Bryanston.

Host or guest? My hus­band and I do a lot of en­ter­tain­ing dur­ing the year – ex­cept over Christ­mas. It’s the one time we get to re­lax and be the guests. Fes­tive tra­di­tions? To make one big, fes­tive cel­e­bra­tion, my fam­ily and the in-laws do din­ner on Christ­mas Eve. My mom and mother-in-law al­ter­nate host­ing, and it’s around 15 peo­ple with im­me­di­ate fam­ily, plus friends whose loved ones aren’t in town. We make sure no one’s alone on the day. We share the cater­ing – I’m in charge of sal­ads – and my dad hands out the Se­cret Santa gifts. Favourite Christ­mas treat? I stub­bornly still try to eat healthily over the hol­i­days, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treats. I can’t re­sist dark-choco­late bon­bons, and the Leafy Greens restau­rant makes a good gluten-free Christ­mas cake. I brought it to lunch a few years ago and it was such a hit, it’s now a menu must.

Pa­per crowns – yes, or no? They never fit over my curly hair, so that’s a no!

Tipple of choice? Bub­bly doesn’t get me too tipsy. I sip on sparkling wa­ter, too.

What’s on the menu? Beef tongue and pick­les, ox­tail curry, and my Christ­mas cake. Not tra­di­tional fare, but we love it.

Christ­mas decor? Ev­ery­one helps ready the ta­ble. It heaves un­der the weight of can­dles, mini wreaths and baubles, not to men­tion the food. A per­fectly dec­o­rated tree was a child­hood sta­ple, but the fo­cus has shifted to the ta­ble.

First or last to leave? Warren and I stay till the end. I find fam­ily get-to­geth­ers hit a sweet spot once the dishes have been cleared and ev­ery­one’s re­laxed. In fact, we some­times stay over and spend Christ­mas morn­ing to­gether. I love that.

Top of your playlist? I look for new Christ­mas mu­sic ev­ery year, but un­less it’s Mariah Carey or Whit­ney Hous­ton, Warren’s not happy – he starts play­ing their fes­tive tracks from Novem­ber!

Spe­cial out­fit for the day? I opt for a comfy, floaty dress, paired with chunky heels. Why not dress up? It’s Christ­mas.

Catch Stacey’s show, Real Health, on ev­ery Mon­day at 6pm on The Home Chan­nel, Dstv chan­nel 176.

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