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The founder and creative director of Self Space on her earliest festive memory, dressing ponies as reindeer and her desire for Penhaligon’s candles

What epitomises Christmas in London for you?

Seeing the city illuminated with Christmas lights, shopping for gifts in London’s historic boutiques and going to see the Hackney Empire pantomime.

What’s your earliest Christmas memory?

My dad giving me some dangling fairy earrings when I was about 7, which I loved (I didn’t have my ears pierced until I was 13!)

What smells and tastes do you associate with the festive period?

Baileys, Christmas trees and winter candles burning in a warm room.

Do you prefer Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or a chocolate Yule log?

Always chocolate Yule log with cream.

What’s on your Christmas list to give and to receive, from The Royal Exchange?

Fortnum & Mason hampers for all! So beautiful. For me, a Smythson notebook and some Penhaligon’s candles please.

What’s your Christmas gift-wrapping style?

If someone else would do it for me that would be the best gift! There seems to be way too much to wrap in our house, so often brown paper with sharpie writing.

Do you have any special, unique or unconventional Christmas traditions?

My family have ponies so they often dress them up as reindeer and walk them to my local pub in East Sussex.

Do you own a Christmas jumper?

No but I love a woolly jumper.

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

Love Actually.

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?

All I want for Christmas.

What signifies the start of the festive season for you?

Bonfire night. It seems early but the fireworks say to me ‘OK, so now it begins’.


What do you think is the best way to help others at Christmastime?

Be generous with your time. Listen well. Tell people you love them. Ask them how they are and listen to the answer.


Jodie Cariss is a therapist with more than 15 years experience who provides support for young people and families through her company Cariss Creative. Her other company Self Space offers a place where people can keep their mental health in check by chatting to a qualified person, this includes one-to-one therapy, couples therapy, student sessions and executive coaching;