We Asked 10 MPs About Their Christmas Day Routines
Pork pies for breakfast, whippets to walk, the Father Ted Christmas special. BuzzFeed News spoke to 10 MPs to find out their festive routines.
It's probably the only day of the year that MPs are guaranteed a bit of peace and quiet with their families. So how do they make the most of Christmas Day? BuzzFeed News asked 10 of them about their annual routine.
Do you leave anything out for Father Christmas?
Nicky Morgan (education secretary): Yes, a mince pie and a glass of port – and a carrot for Rudolph.
Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat leader): We tend to leave out a carrot for the reindeer and a glass of sherry for Father Christmas.
Sarah Wollaston (Conservative): Of course! Why would he come next year if there's no bottle of sherry and mince pies?
Jess Phillips (Labour): A carrot, a mince pie, some water for reindeer, and beer for Father Christmas. Even though my kids no longer believe, they insist we do it – in the words of my 10-year-old, "it's tradition".
Sadiq Khan (Labour's London mayoral candidate): My daughters are now 16 and 14 so they realise that anything left out for Father Christmas is a midnight snack for their dad.
Stuart Donaldson (SNP): I think you mean SANTA! Yeah, of course. A wee glass of sherry and carrots for the deer, obvs.
Johnny Mercer (Conservative): We leave out mince pies and some port and carrots.
Kirsten Oswald (SNP): Chocolate cookies and some whisky for Santa.
Martin Docherty (SNP): Yes, I have two dogs – whippets. They need walking at all hours.
Wes Streeting (Labour): I'm worried about Father Christmas's sugar-rich diet and refuse to provide alcohol to man in charge of a flying sleigh.
What time do you usually wake up on Christmas Day?
Nicky Morgan: 7am is a lie in – we're doing well if it is much beyond 6am.
Tim Farron: The children tend to wake us up by 6am; we usually manage to put them off for half an hour or so.
Johnny Mercer: About 6:30am when a little girl comes and jumps on my head. [Mercer has two daughters, aged 2 and 6.] After drinking the port the night before, it goes down quite poorly.
Stuart Donaldson: Not early. Normally because I was out getting full of the Christmas spirit in my home town of Banchory on Christmas Eve…
Martin Docherty: Wide awake given those two whippets are usually eating the tree.
When is present-opening time? Do you ever save any for later?
Johnny Mercer: Santa's presents get opened pretty early. Then we have a break and sit round the Christmas tree later and open our main presents. We get a lot of pressure to open them earlier.
Nicky Morgan: First thing before breakfast and then we have a small present each left for teatime.
Wes Streeting: I have never understood people saving their Christmas presents for the afternoon or evening. One Christmas we went to relatives who did that. It was hell.
Stuart Donaldson: WHO SAVES PRESENTS FOR LATER?
Sadiq Khan: We open all our presents first thing in the morning. There's no messing around in our household.
Kirsten Oswald: Straightaway for the kids' stockings. We then open the rest of the presents after breakfast.
Jess Phillips: We do it all as soon as we are up – but it lasts all day as we visit relatives.
Do you have a special Christmas morning breakfast?
Nicky Morgan: In Leicestershire it is traditional to have pork pie.
Johnny Mercer: My wife cooks something special. We quite like having eggs Benedict.
Wes Streeting: Obviously a fry-up.
Jess Phillips: We always have a cooked breakfast, usually eggs and bacon.
Sadiq Khan: In preparation for the amount I will be eating later, I try to be good and do a morning run – I'm afraid breakfast is skipped.
Stuart Donaldson: Paracetamol.
Kirsten Oswald: Porridge!
Martin Docherty: Just some nice scrambled eggs and good coffee.
Tim Farron: Not really, it's a bit of a free-for-all.
Is there an activity you always do on Christmas Day?
Tim Farron: A few of us go for a run before lunch, then there's a decent walk later on.
Nicky Morgan: We always go to church – often it is the only quiet time of the day.
Sadiq Khan: We always go to the cemetery to visit my dad's grave. It's a day when you remember those loved ones who are no longer with us.
Kirsten Oswald: A walk on the beach near my parents' house always blows away the cobwebs. We got caught in a sandstorm last Christmas, which was a wee bit too bracing.
Johnny Mercer: We always go for a walk to the local pub.
Martin Docherty: We always have a lovely long walk with the dogs and there are plenty of places to choose from in my constituency, including a bonnie loch – Loch Lomond.
Sarah Wollaston: We save all that for the big Boxing Day duck race, a high-stakes Dartmoor river race with bath ducks. The going will be fast and wild this year.
Stuart Donaldson: One year I had my Christmas dinner in the middle of the Sinai desert. I rode camels, feeling pretty much like one of the wise men. Though I still have no idea what frankincense or myrrh actually are.
Do you have many people over for Christmas dinner or do you go elsewhere?
Johnny Mercer: We try and keep Christmas Day quite private. It's the one time we try and stay home, just the two of us and the children.
Tim Farron: There will be 15 of us and we tend to have Christmas dinner quite late, after 6pm. Though we may try doing it earlier this time.
Kirsten Oswald: There's usually about 12 of us for dinner; we sit down to eat about 2pm, and we never have turkey.
Jess Phillips: We go to my dad's. Numbers range from 10-22 depending on which of my brothers are there with their kids.
Sadiq Khan: We're having dinner at my brother's house where the whole family will gather – all of the siblings, my mum, nephews and nieces all together.
What board games do you play, if any?
Sarah Wollaston: Monopoly, Perudo, Mastermind, Scrabble, Risk. No one is prepared to lose.
Tim Farron: Trivial Pursuit – and there is nothing trivial about it, it's a serious business.
Nicky Morgan: Rummikub is a Morgan family favourite.
Sadiq Khan: Our family tradition is playing Monopoly and I am the ONLY member of my family who doesn't cheat! One of my brothers, Tariq, has been banned by my nephews and nieces from ever being the banker.
Wes Streeting: Monopoly – but only if I can play banker, because cheating is the only way I ever win Monopoly.
Jess Phillips: We play whichever new games we get each year – there is always a new one. My husband is a board game fanatic.
Johnny Mercer: We play a memory shopping game, involving bananas and oranges.
Stuart Donaldson: I'm not a fan, especially because I get quite annoyed when I start losing. Charades is a good laugh though.
Is there a TV programme or film you always have to watch?
Johnny Mercer: We always used to watch Blackadder before we had the children. But now we watch The Snowman on DVD on Christmas Eve with the girls.
Nicky Morgan: The Snowman.
Stuart Donaldson: The Muppet Christmas Carol or Elf. "Buddy the Elf, what's your favourite colour?"
Jess Phillips: The Great Escape and Dr Who.
Sadiq Khan: It's still a tradition to watch the Top of Pops Christmas special, and there's always demand to watch a Bond film if there's one on.
Tim Farron: After the kids have gone to bed on Christmas Eve, my brother-in-law and I sit down to watch the Father Ted Christmas special. "It's Ireland's largest lingerie department, I understand…" Film-wise, we watch Home Alone 1 and 2 which are marvellous, but not 3 or 4 because they are abominations.
Martin Docherty: The Wizard of Oz.
Kirsten Oswald: The news. My dad is a news addict. Other than that, the TV is off – we don't get together enough, so it's brilliant to just spend time together.
Wes Streeting: I always love a good Christmas blockbuster and the annual misery blighting the lives of residents of Albert Square.
Sarah Wollaston: The Queen's speech and Apollo 13.
What's your favourite thing about Christmas Day?
Nicky Morgan: Spending time with the family and the real treat is there are almost no emails.
Wes Streeting: Food!
Jess Phillips: Seeing all of my family, gammon, and trifle. One of the best bits is the evening when we all go over to one of my mates' houses.
Tim Farron: Just feeling cocooned amongst my family.
Sarah Wollaston: Family. Love a bit of turkey and chestnut stuffing too and stockings. Everything really.
Sadiq Khan: It's just a great family day, with food, presents and fun. I love the songs, and in particular Fairytale of New York which has to be the greatest Christmas song ever written.
Kirsten Oswald:The expressions on the children's faces when they see that Santa's been. I'm probably just as excited as them.