All I Want for Christmas: Ruth-Anne Cunningham
Singer on her favourite memories and the best and worst presents she has received
Los Angeles-based Irish singer-songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham
Apart from a Christmas No.1 for the Irish Women in Harmony single, what do you want from Santa?
Honestly, what I really want is for the coronavirus to go away so I can see my family! I live in England and travel a lot to LA and Ireland, and it’s been nice to take a break – but now I just want people to be able to hug again. But for under the tree? I’ve been watching this show The Home Edit on Netflix, so I’d like all of their products to get my new house nice and organised.
How early do festivities kick off for you?
Christmas is our favourite time of the year. Last year, my fiance and I actually put up our decorations on November 1st, because we were going to be in Dublin for December so we wanted to have a month in our own place. This year, we’ve decided to wait til December 1st.
What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
My fiancé proposed to me the night before Christmas Eve last year, so that would definitely be a standout. He surprised me at my Christmas gathering with my friends, like the Love, Actually movie – it was all very Christmassy.
What’s the best and worst presents you’ve ever received?
This probably makes me sound like a brat, but an ex-boyfriend once gave me a star – like, y’know when you get a certificate that says you “own” a star? I was like “This is really cute”, but afterwards I was like ‘Ermmmm... a star that I can’t see and don’t know where it is. Could have just got me a pair of shoes.’ (laughs) The best present I ever got? One year, my parents surprised me when I was living in LA for Christmas, and I hadn’t seen them in months. That was great.
What’s Christmas day like for you?
We wake up at 7am, we have an Irish fry and exchange presents. I actually got the family matching Christmas pyjamas this year, so we’ll all get into our pyjamas and stay in them until dinner. We’ll have Buck’s Fizz, look at our presents, play with my nephews, then get dressed for dinner around 4pm. Around 8 or 9, we’ll have our cold sandwiches and play games and get our neighbours and friends over for a big sing-song. It’s very chilled and family-oriented.
What’s your party piece?
I always sing Grace, or Last Christmas by Wham! They’re my go-to songs.