We caught up with the radio DJ to find out what it is that she loves about Christmas so much.
Lauren, will you be panic-buying any Christmas gifts on Black Friday?
‘I can’t cope with the frantic vibes of it all. I mean, I love a bargain, but I don’t want to be trampled to death outside Currys in order to get it. It’s also hard to shop wisely when your adrenalin is flowing – send me to a sale and I’m much more likely to come back with three pairs of opera gloves and a candy floss machine, rather than the black skirt I actually needed in the first place.’
Do you set yourself a budget?
‘An approximate budget, which I stick to… approximately!’
So what presents hold the best memories for you?
‘Personal presents mean the most. My mum and I love old jewellery and last year I bought her a silver Roman mouse with a looping tail, that I threaded a silver chain through to make a necklace. There was something very pleasing about using a 2,000-year-old object for the precise purpose the person who made it intended. My mum returned the favour with a decorative plate that belonged to her own mother. We have very few mementos of her left, so it’s hugely precious, and I keep it on my dressing table so I can see it every day.’
When do you do your wrapping? Are you a leave it until the last minute girl, or do you wrap them as you buy them?
‘I do a whole wrapping evening with a load of ribbons, lovely music and a glass of wine. It’s one of the greatest pleasures of the season.’
What’s your top Christmas hack?
‘Chilli on Brussels sprouts. Noddy Holder – who we all know invented Christmas – swears by it.’
And what music will you be listening to over the festive period?
‘I have a whole Christmas section in my record library! Julie London, James Brown and Trojan Reggae are go-tos, but I like all sorts, from The Soul Saints Orchestra Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag of Soul, to The Vince Guaraldi Trio Christmas Time is Here.’
Any philosophical thoughts about this time of year?
‘Charles Dickens wrote a beautiful essay about how we should make space for the things we’ve lost, or are sad about, and for our failures at Christmas. I think that was part of the reason he insisted that ghost stories should be a big part of Christmas, though with the exception of A Christmas Carol I don’t think that tradition persists too much. I have a lot of sympathy with that.’
What are you most looking forward to about 2019?
‘I’m so excited about my brand new BBC Radio 6 Music Breakfast show, which is going to be every weekday from 7.30am to 10.30am. I’ll be making sure the listeners start the day off just right, with the very best music, recommendations and guests.’
Finally, if you could give one amazing gift to anyone this Christmas, who would it be and why?
‘I’d give all of us a gorgeous white Christmas, coupled with a fully operational transport infrastructure. That would be the absolute dream!’
Lauren Laverne is the new host of the Breakfast Show, 7.30-10.30am, starting in January 2019 on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Sounds