I HOPE the New Year is going well for you, readers. I had an amazing festive period. I began my adventure this year by flying to LA just before Christmas to join my Christmas family, the Carey-Cannons. We flew out of the hot LA weather from the private air field wearing t shirts. Then, four hours later, we pulled on our polo neck sweaters as we landed on the thick snowy runway of the Aspen air field, which is full of celeb and wealthy jet plane owners. (Trust me, Aspenâ€™s not for us regular folks, unless we can hitch a ride with a mate like I did!)
At one point, I went out to a coffee shop and, no word of a lie, I walked past Paris Hilton, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson on my way there! As if that wasnâ€™t enough, when I got to the coffee shop, guess who was standing in front of me? None other than actress Goldie flippin Hawn! She asked the server for a choc chic cookie then started talking to me, before realisng that I wasnâ€™t her sister who had walked off for a minute. â€˜â€˜Oh no,â€™â€™ I insisted to her. â€œDonâ€™t apologise â€“ I love chit-chatting to Hollywood legends!â€™â€™
After I had helped Mrs C purchase some of her gifts, we returned to the house where we played what was to be the first of many games of â€˜Mafiaâ€™.
Let me explain the game: A group of people are divided into two groups â€“ â€˜Townspeopleâ€™ and â€˜Mafiaâ€™ â€“ depending on which card they are dealt. No one is aware of each othersâ€™ status but the aim is to work out who the mafia are in order to execute them, whilst in turn, the mafia during the night bump off the townsfolk. The ever-festive Nick was his usual animated self and had us all involved, screaming and pleading our cases in minutes.
On Christmas Eve, after skiing and snow-boarding we went sledging. Imagining myself in an old James Bond movie, I had visions of husky dogs pulling us through the snow. However, once on top of the mountain, it became clear that this was the kiddie activity that involved us sitting on a brightly coloured plastic vessel and hurling ourselves down the steep hill. Nick and Mariahâ€™s friends Pastor Kase and Deric (DJ D Wrek from Wild n Out) began the races downhill, whilst I looked on like a scaredey cat. I finally convinced Deric to let me piggy back his sledge and so we started the two-on-two races against the Carey Cannons. A nearby gent offered to lend me his â€œextra fast sledge,â€ which had just been waxed to ensure ridiculous speed.
I agreed, but instead of using it myself, I naughtily passed it to the Carey Cannons, thinking it would freak them out â€“ it didnâ€™t. They used it and they won.
As soon as we got home, we changed into our festive red PJâ€™s and awaited the arrival of Santa, who of course, Mariah knows personally. The kids were all put to bed as we placed ourselves strategically behind curtains and sofas to film and capture the childrenâ€™s faces as Mr Claus awoke them with his cries of â€œho ho ho.â€
Once Santa had done his duties, we all dragged him into the living room to pose with us under the 20-foot high Christmas tree. I sat on his knee, as is traditional, and reassured him of my good behaviour the past 12 months. In return, he let us all ride his sleigh around the front garden and yes they were real reindeer!
Before we went to our beds, Nick warned us with an evil twinkle in his eye that â€˜Santaâ€™ would be waking us at 6am for present opening. â€œNo way,â€ I thought. Well, how wrong I was. Mr â€˜Saint Nickâ€™ (Nick dressed as Santa), stomped up and down the house in his big black Santa boots and huge pillow belly, ringing the bell from hell to wake us all up. After three attempts to ignore him, I dragged my lazy ass down to the Christmas tree where wrapping paper and screams of joy were flying. How could I not get into the Christmas spirit?
As well as the traditional socks, scarves, gloves and toys being exchanged, there were also gifts with handles, heels, diamonds and one with wheels!
That evening, we all put on our best frocks to sit down to Christmas dinner, which tasted mouth-wateringly good.
Later, thoroughly exhausted, we hit the sack early as the next day Mrs C was taking her version of the bus â€“ the jet â€“ to Italy to pick up her special award for best supporting actress at the Capri film festival for her role in the movie Precious.
MC collected her very appropriately shaped mermaid award (which is now sitting in her mermaid room) on the red carpet with a wall of paparazzi documenting her every move. After only 24 hours in Capri, we jetted to New York City, where a whole heap of new adventures awaited me!
Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist.
-- Jasmine Juice