From chocolate for breakfast and disappointing cracker gifts, to tipping over the family Monopoly board mid-game. Our ambassador Lee Ridley, also known as Lost Voice Guy reflects on his magical memories of Christmas’s past.
This year, the festive season will be extra memorable as he sits down with his family to watch his very own Christmas Special on 24 December, ITV.
Lee is supporting our campaign to help other families with disabled children to have those magical memories too.
What Christmas traditions do you like/look forward to?
I think the Christmas tradition that I like the most is definitely opening the advent calendar every day. A Cadbury’s chocolate buttons one, of course! It’s the only time of the year where it’s acceptable to eat chocolate every morning!
But I also love buying presents for people. I spend ages deciding what to get family and friends because I want it to be a complete surprise. There’s nothing better than seeing that look on someone’s face on Christmas Day!
Are there any Christmas traditions you don’t like? What’s the worst?
I’m not a big fan of pulling Christmas crackers. Mainly because I usually can’t get them open and end up falling over trying. Even when I do manage to pull a cracker properly I always end up with the one with the most rubbish gift in it. I seem to end up with a mini magnifying glass or something, which is no use to anyone!
If there is one thing you could change about traditional Christmas celebrations what would that be and why?
I think that Christmas dinner should be spread out over the day instead of having to eat it in one go and then feeling full for the rest of the day. For example, you could have some of it for breakfast, and then have a rest for a while, then eat more at lunchtime and then finish it off in the evening. That way you wouldn’t fall asleep after your Christmas dinner and miss the Queen’s speech.
What was Christmas like when you were a kid both at school and at home?
I used to love Christmas when I was younger. I’d always annoy my parents by getting up at around 6am to see if Santa had been. Of course, he never failed to show up. Then my Grandad and Nana would come over for Christmas dinner. I’ll always remember that my Grandad would wear his best suit for the occasion… and that was the only time he wore one. I’d then rope my Grandad into playing with my new toys with me, while my Nana helped with Christmas dinner. So Christmas for us was a family affair, and I loved every second of it.
What is your ideal Christmas dinner? What would be the very worst?
If I’m being honest, I’m not a massive fan of Christmas dinner. Partly because I can’t eat half of it very well without choking on it! Of course I still always had some because it was tradition. Mine was just a bit more mashed up. I think I’ve always enjoyed the puddings more than the dinner though.
What’s your most embarrassing Christmas experience?
That was probably when we were playing Monopoly as a family. I think it was a new version that had just come out or something. Anyway, I’m very competitive most of the time. So playing Monopoly probably wasn’t the best idea. In this particular game, I was losing pretty badly. In the end, I decided that I’d had enough and I tipped the monopoly board over in the huff!
Needless to say, we haven’t played Monopoly as a family ever again, and my family still take the mick out of me for doing it every year.
Did the pandemic make a huge difference to your Christmas last year? How different was it?
I think it was different for most people. Obviously it was a lot quieter because we didn’t have all the extended family around, but we still managed to have a good time. I’m definitely looking forward to having my Aunty talk over everything we’re watching on television again this year though. It just wasn’t the same without all her interruptions!
Having your own TV Christmas special is a pivotal moment in a comedian’s life. How are you feeling about it? Are you planning a family viewing on 24 December?
I’m so excited to have a Christmas special, especially as its on Christmas Eve. Obviously, I’ve watched other people’s Christmas specials in the past, so to have one myself blows my mind a little bit!
I’m looking forward to getting everyone ready for Santa by being funny and a bit cheeky with my best comedy friends. I think my Mam would disown me if we didn’t all watch it together on Christmas Eve as well, so I’m looking forward to that family get together as well! I really hope everyone enjoys my show!