Stefanie Preissner: ‘My ideal Christmas dinner guest? Jürgen Klopp’

Stefanie Preissner, screenwriter, playwright and actor on her favourite things about Christmas

Stefanie Preissner: “Every year my mum lays out my presents after I’ve gone to bed – as if Santa has arrived.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stefanie Preissner: “Every year my mum lays out my presents after I’ve gone to bed – as if Santa has arrived.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


What’s at the top of your Christmas to-do list?
GET A REAL TREE. I moved house this year and we forgot to bring our old fake tree from the attic so we’re officially tree-less. We’re going to get a real tree this year so as soon as those guys are available we’ll start looking for the perfect one.

What do you want Santa to bring this year?
I have to be very careful answering this question because I have so many lovely people around me who get me presents and they’re always looking for me to drop hints. I get a ridiculous thrill from finding a bargain so I think I’d love vouchers so I can go and scrounge through the Christmas detritus on Stephen’s Day, first thing in the morning.

How do you spend Christmas Day?
Nana’s warm living room, Mam pottering around the kitchen with condensation from the oven running down the windows, the smells of Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol on TV, warm drink in hand, feet up, Nana looking for the remote to “switch over to The Snowman” because we used to watch it when I was a child. No bells, phones, door – jingle or otherwise.

Brussel sprouts – food heaven or food hell?
Heaven. I’m one of the weirdos who buys those delicious mini cabbages all year round.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
Home Alone.

Where is the only place you want to be this Christmas?
At my nana’s with her and my mam.

What song has you ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’?
Once I hear Drivin’ Home for Christmas by Chris Rea, I know the season is truly upon us.

Who’s your fantasy Christmas dinner guest?
Keeping numbers low is my favourite thing about Christmas. The fewer people the better but if I have to pick someone – Jurgen Klopp.

Christmas week – chilled out or stressed to the max?
Total chill. I wind down Christmas week and spend my time helping my nana to shop and wrap and get ready for the holiday. I try to avoid the three thieves of Christmas joy – expectations, hangovers, and debt. Save the drama for the screen is my Christmas motto.

What Christmas tradition do you keep to without fail every year?
Every year my mum lays out my presents after I’ve gone to bed – as if Santa has arrived. And if I thank her for what I’ve gotten she always says ‘it’s not me, it’s Santa’. The Santa myth is still truly alive chez Preissner.

The most annoying thing about Christmas is . . .
The stress people put themselves under to get everyone they’ve ever met a Christmas present – can we all agree, no presents unless you can actually name something the person would love and doesn’t already have.

What was your favourite Christmas present as a child?
Mr Frosty the slushy drink maker was my favourite thing but it also ruined Christmas because it never worked properly. Typical.

Which person would you most like to meet under the mistletoe?
Jurgen Klopp, 100 per cent.

Favourite part of the Christmas meal?
Turkey leg – there’s only two legs, so there’s an annual rota for who gets them. If it’s your year for the leg – you’ve got the best gift possible.

Who’s on your Christmas list this year and who’s getting a lump of coal in their stocking?
The Lidl looters who ruined our snow day earlier this year are definitely getting coal. But the Thai rescue divers who saved those stranded kids should surely be getting something special.