Celebrating the Holidays with Friends – Dave Johnston


As the holidays and a new year are upon us, we often like to take time to reflect on this year past and all that we are thankful for. Perhaps aside from family, the most important part of each year is friends. They are after all, family in their own right.

This year was my first year as a blogger, so I am happy to say that the list has grown considerably,as this wonderful community of bloggers and authors have welcomed me with open arms and made this a memorable and treasured experience (yes I tend to get sappy during the holidays). So I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of these new friends with each of you. Today I wanted to introduce you to Dave.

Dave Johnston is a name that has circulated through Books, Vertigo and Tea on more than one occasion. I was thrilled when he originally approached me to read Atomic Number Sixty. The concept excited me. What I was pleasantly surprised by the friendship that would soon follow. Dave is an awesome guy and each encounter with him is always an enjoyable one. I wanted to find a way to introduce this great friend and talented writer to you, and Dave kindly agreed to do a quest post that was more than fitting for the holidays. He has offered to share a glimpse of his traditions and life during this time of year.

So Without Further Ado..


Dave Johnston, 39. I have two children, I’m easily distracted, I’m really forgetful, I live in Sheffield, and I have two children. I’m so lazy that I write novellas and I climb in my spare-spare time.

At Christmas, we have such a great family day. It follows a similar format every year, started by my Uncle when I was a kid. People arrive, people have champagne, people open presents (one by one with everyone watching), then we sit down at the dinner table … and no one leaves. Not even the kids. And not because anyone’s been told to. But because we’re all having such a good time.

Tasty food, silly games, constant laughs, flowing drinks. I honestly, honestly love it. The most wonderful time of the year – with you on that one Andy Williams.

My Uncle devastatingly passed away a few years ago, and since then it always felt like it’s in his honour, and that it’s our honour, to keep the fantastic tradition going.

I remember vividly one of those first Christmases, when my Uncle turned up with a present for myself and my sister. Not just a present. THE present. A massive, enormous, gigantic, ridiculous cracker, filled with wondrous, fantastical gifts.

In my memory, we pulled it, it detonated, a glitter rainbow erupted, and the world spilled out at our feet. I can only hope that I get close to filling my children’s heads with that same dreamy idealism.

When my best friend delivered my godson into the world, I realised that this was my chance. Off I went, straight to the shops, and immediately bought him the most ludicrous, outrageous, stoopidest present I could find. Or the loudest. Or the biggest. Or the funnest.

Jaden’s a teenager now, and we get him vouchers or lego or computer games (spoiler alert), but I miss buying him things like an enormous robot fish that remotely floats around the room. My mate doesn’t of course, but that’s because I have two small children now, and he delights in buying them the loudest, or the biggest, or the funnest, most ludicrous, outrageous, stoopidest presents. So annoying, haha.

And so I turned my attention onto my cousin, Laura. We’ve always had such a great connection. We’re equally silly. We have so much fun at Christmas. Nobody pimps their party hats like we do.


So now I buy, and even more fun make, Laura the most nonsensical present I can think of. And I pride myself on my imagination. Penguin of Death, Doggie Doo, a tote bag with a massive photo of her face on it (that better be her bag-for-life at the supermarket), up to last year’s winner, my own take on the classic game Guess Who. But Guess Who, Lor-Lors style.


I’d tell you what I’ve bought/made her this year, but I’d hate to spoil the surprise. And oh, it’s a good one. Really good, haha. Maybe follow me on the internet somewhere, and I’ll share the photos on Boxing Day.

So in this household we’re on countdown to Christmas. I hope Laura loves her present. I hope my Uncle is proud of me. I hope my best mate hasn’t bought my kids something so big we can’t fit it into the car.

Merry Christmas everyone

Dave Johnston

Learn More About Dave and His Work



Recent Reviews on Books, Vertigo and Tea

Atomic Number Sixty
Massacre of the Sixty

27 thoughts on “Celebrating the Holidays with Friends – Dave Johnston

  1. Wow he really is creative ! On the one hand I think it’s hilarious, but maybe on the other hand I’d be a little disappointed maybe because no way that I’d ever go shopping with a tote bag with my own face on it. That’s one item to be buried in a closet far far far away. But Christmas does seem like a good deal of of fun in his family, and that’s what it should be right ?!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hahahah this was pretty darn awesome. That Holiday spirit is stroooong in this post! 😛 Gosh, it’s been forever since I’ve seen the Guess Who game, such a pleasant surprise! Fantastic guest post; thanks for sharing! 😛

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a warm and funny post inhabited by the purest Christmas spirit! 🙂 My favorite part of the holiday is sitting at the table on Christmas day, knowing my lazy bottom won’t move for the next five hours while I fill my body with the most incredible food and my mind with awesome moments that will become my most treasured memories. Did I mention the food? :p I do miss those times when my uncles would bring us giant presents we struggled to unwrap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christmas is definitely a time for good food and and company 🙂 I have lost some of the tradition I was building for my kids a bit over the years and am working hard to reestablish it all. They used to have favorite foods I made and remembered opening presents a certain way. We always hid the pickle. With our move and transition, I need to make sure to continue with these moments ❤


  4. I need to find out how to make that Guess Who version! What an awesome game! You could do it with families if you have a big one, or me (who doesn’t have a big family), I’d like to do a celebrity one! This is a great idea!
    I’m going to go bother Dave and ask him for some tips for the future!!
    Great guest post!

    Liked by 1 person

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